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Black Chalk, Classic 2018
49% Chardonnay, 34% Pinot Meunier, 17% Pinot Noir
Prominent fruit throughout thanks to the high proportion of Pinot Meunier, backed up by impressively complex layers of autolysis and a rich underbelly from the barrel component, still with the now classic English characteristics of green apple and floral notes.
Grapes sourced solely from a small handful of chalk downland sites in the county of Hampshire, with an unusual dominance of Pinot Meunier, a red grape the winemaker Jacob believes is particularly suited to the local climate. Grapes are pressed and the juice undergoes primary fermentation mostly in stainless steel tank but with a small component fermented in oak barrels, then secondary fermentation in bottle as per the traditional method, where the wine ages on its lees for two years before disgorgement.
Black Chalk is a labour of love from award-winning winemaker Jacob Leadley and family, with the eagerly-awaited inaugural 2015 vintage wines released in April 2018. Truly exceptional fruit is sourced entirely from vineyards in Hampshire, a quintessentially English landscape Jacob knows well, having been making world-class sparkling wines at Hattingley Valley since 2011. ?The traditional triptych of grapes come together in two debut wines of winsome brio and charm notably and intriguingly for us a role more prominent for Pinot Meunier, too often the bridesmaid of sparkling wine. From the chalklands of Hampshire, they're two hugely exciting and important leaps forward for an English wine scene already brimming with energy.
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