Talking Wine – June 2018

We know that Taittinger have bought land in the south of England to create a sparkling wine but as yet are not in production. However Pommery have beaten them to it having launched Louis Pommery . They have teamed up with Hattingly Vineyard in Hampshire for their fist vintage and bought grapes from Essex and Sussex to add those from Hampshire to create a classic ( champagne grapes) English cuvee. In the long term they are developing their own vineyards near Alresford overseen by Clement Pierlot , Pommery’s Chef de Cave. Apparently he saw a hill and announced he wanted that to plant his vines. He got his way and the first production will be in 2021 with full production by 2024.

I also hear on the grapevine that he is planting an hectare of Pinot Gris, which of course does well in Alsace, and may produce a quality still wine. Next stop a still Pinot Noir perhaps?

What a privilege to attend the “Wine Man of the Year” awards at the Lanesborough Hotel in London where the famous Chilean winemaker Edouardo Chadwick was being honoured. There were about 100 present and imagine my shock when I was placed between Oz Clarke and the Times MW journalist Jane McQuitty. Although I know Oz I had never met Jane who was quite charming and very interesting. She does know our MW wine buyer, Marcia Waters, and so has agreed to taste a range of our recommended wines and give us a bit of a write up. Incidentally Heston cooked and we drank some delicious wine – and all in the name of work !!