A dreamy stunner with a discreet flavour
2017 Flint Vineyard, Charmat RoséThis English sparkling wine is the finest rosé made from the Charmat method that Matthew Jukes have ever tasted.
2017 Flint Vineyard, Charmat Ros, England£21.99, reduced to £20 per bottle each if you buy six, FlintVineyard.com
This is the first sparkling wine made by the Charmat method to be released in England and it is a dreamy stunner. Frenchman Eugne Charmat developed this system in which the secondary fermentation (the creation of the bubbles in the still wine) takes place in a stainless steel tank rather than in the bottle (as it does in traditional English sparkling wine or Champagne).
Using the same technique as Prosecco, this wine is as far removed from Italian fizz as you could possibly imagine. It is made from four different grapes solaris, bacchus, reichensteiner and rondo all whole-bunch-pressed using a gentle "Champagne setting". Some of the wine is aged in French oak for four months and during this period, the lees are stirred to bring more body and flavour to the whole. The fermentation is not rushed and so the resulting bubbles are incredibly tiny and elegant.
Owner and winemaker Ben Witchell and his wife Hannah are two of the most thoughtful people I have encountered in our home-grown wine scene. This is evident from the stunningly designed bottle and the discreet flavour of this beautiful wine. With red-cherry tones and pin-sharp acidity, this is the finest ros made from this method that I have ever tasted, from any country in the world, let alone from within our shores. This wine is a game-changer and the Witchells should be very proud of their creation.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).