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Harrow & Hope

2014

Blanc de Blancs

Brut   |   England

About

This is only the second release of the vintage Blanc de Blancs, only made in years when Chardonnay can get fully ripe. In 2014 this was achieved by the exceptionally warm weather, especially around harvest time, which meant the fruit could hang until Henry saw everything he wanted in the grape. It is made exclusively from the lowest yielding Chardonnay vines in plot 76. With the chalk only 30cm below the surface these vines have to work very hard to produce a small amount of intensely flavored grapes.

The grapes were hand-harvested and quickly presse primarily to old French barriques and the remainder in stainless steel; the barrel fermented portion was fermented without added yeast. Henry felt the longer, native ferment coupled with the texture and slight oxidation from the barrel fermented portion really adds extra layersof complexity, fattening up the wine a bit. After six months of aging, the lots were racked to tank where they harmonize and settle naturally. The wine was bottled and the liquer de tirage was added. Following 38 months on lees the bottles were disgorged and topped with an 8 g/L dosage. A further six months under cork is employed allowing the acidity to mellow.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard: Harrow & Hope Estate - Block 76
  • Vine Age: 4-years-old
  • Soil Type: Heavy gravel & shale over chalk
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed / vineyard has never been sprayed
  • Fermentation: 60% native (seasoned French barriques) - 40% inoculated (stainless-steel)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: Primary: 6 months in neutral French barrique (60%) & stainless steel (40%)Secondary: 38 months in bottle
  • Residual Sugar: 8 g/L
  • Total Production: 300 cases

Tasting Note

The tiny, rapid bubbles carry fresh crisp aromas of green apple & ripe, lemon notes with a touch of a freshly baked baguette. The wine has an excellent poise on the palate with great energy. The striking acidity and lemon tingles the taste buds, with more mellow notes of baked apples offering a creamy weight. It remains quite lively and the effect of oak only adds texture and roundness rather than flavor or aroma. Brilliant wine.

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