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Balfour

‘Leslie’s Reserve’

Brut   |   England

About

Positioned between the flagship vintage rosé and ‘1503’ non-vintage expressions is the favorite of proprietress Leslie Balfour, thus the wine is named for her. This non-vintage, traditional method sparkling wine launched in 2016 as a softer, fruit forward, more accessible introduction to English fizz and as Leslie’s taste for fizz has evolved, so has the wine. The grapes are now picked a touch later and the blend has changed a bit putting more Chardonnay into the mix. Lastly the wine has been ‘dried out’ a touch with the dosage decreasing, but the wine is still very vibrant and fruit-driven.

The grapes were harvested in mid-October and whole-bunch pressed to stainless-steel tanks for fermentation. A ‘Leslie’s Reserve’ yeast strain was selected by the winemaker in 2017 has has been used since for primary fermentation. The ferment creeps along really preserving the svelte fruit. Once primary fermentation is finished, Victoria tested the wine to see where ML was and if it is not finished she will then push it through. The wine sits in tank for a month post-fermentation and then it is bottled. The wine ages for a minimum of 18 months and is disgorged to order for maximum freshness.

Stats

  • Grapes: 55% Pinot Noir - 40% Chardonnay - 5% Pinot Meunier
  • Vineyard: The Hush Heath Estate – Oast House Meadow, Old Eight Acre, and Foxridge blocks
  • Vine Age: 3-16-years-old
  • Soil Type: Wealden clay over Tunbridge Wells sand
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Inoculated – stainless-steel
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: Primary: 4 months in stainless-steel Secondary: >18 months in bottle
  • Residual Sugar: 14 g/L
  • pH: 3.16
  • Total Acidity: 7.2 g/L
  • Total Production: 3,000 cases

Tasting Note

Bright gold with attractive pink highlights and a fine sustained head. On the nose fresh and clean with hints of brioche and red apple along with some light hints of blackberries. The wine is beautifully balanced with crisp acidity, refreshing flavors of lime and redcurrant then the apple and blackberry notes repeating on the finish.

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