The flagship expression Balfour Brut Rosé has helped put this producer firmly on the English wine map, winning a Decanter Gold Medal in 2013 and being regularly served on the Orient Express and British Airways First Class flights, as well as being chosen as the only English wine to be served at the London 2012 Olympics. This single-block wine is the ‘tête de cuvée’ for the Estate and a wine the Balfours are incredibly proud of, and with good reason. Jancis Robinson called 2018 “England’s miracle vintage.” Balfour calls it “one of the best years in English viticultural history.” Indeed, a record number of healthy, ripe grapes were produced, thanks to a warmer than average growing season.
Grapes for this wine were hand-picked from the Oast House Meadow block. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed to specially designed conical stainless-steel tanks for primary fermentation at a cool 60ºF. Wanting to maintain the maximum tension with the plan of extended lees maturation, malolactic fermentation was blocked as the wine was quickly racked off of the lees. After a month post-ferment in tank the blend was assembled and the wine was bottled. Frequent riddling was employed and following four years on lees the wine was disgorged and hit with a small 5-ish gram dosage and addition of a light amount of still Pinot Noir.