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Hundred Hills, Blanc de Blancs 2017
From high up in the stunning Stonor Valley, this single parcel wine showcases the exceptional Chardonnay grown in the Hill Top vineyard from the cool 2017 vintage.
White floral aromas emerging with rich lemons, limes and yuzu delicately filling the palate while white peaches and more exotic notes emerge. Already harmonious and complex but still tense and evolving in the bottle. This is a landmark wine for Hundred Hills and English sparklings with an anticipated peak in the late 2020s.
Pairing suggestions: Seared tuna, sesame seeds and crispy seaweed. Try also with soft goats cheese, fresh figs and baby basil.
Vineyards: Steep chalk slopes, warmed gently through the English summer, and soils poor enough that every year the vines must struggle for survival and produce the most enticing grapes they can. From the outset Hundred Hills focused on the low yielding, high quality forms of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that had produced so many great wines in Burgundy and Champagne during the twentieth century, now the climate of Southern England in the twenty-first.
Hundred Hills carefully segmented their vineyard into ten parcels, each with their own aspect, slopes and soils, and now all filled with different Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines. They selected some classics such as Chardonnay 95 on the thin soils and steep slopes of the ‘Amphitheatre’ Vineyard and Pinot Noir 115 on the gentle East facing slopes where a lengthy growing and ripening season could allow them to fully express their potential.
Hundred Hills have never used herbicides, relying heavily on cover crops to help sustain the soil nutrients the vines need.
Winemaking: Using grapes with over 100 days on the vine, the base wines were created without malolactic fermentation to preserve their acidity, fermented in traditional oak casks, and then kept for 36 months on lees.
Hundred Hills is an English winery based in Oxfordshire, with their vineyards on steep chalky slopes. They make ‘clean, clear’ wines that aim to reflect a sense of time and place in the way the very best Burgundies seek to do. Their wines will vary year by year and their winemaking will always be minimalist in style allowing as pure a vintage expression of their vineyards as possible.
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