In the glass


Chapel Down English Rose 2009   alc 12%  £9.99

Winemaker – OwenElias (and others)

A wine from the outstanding 2009 harvest.  It’s called a refreshing modern rose and it is . It is made from a blend of red and white grapes , all whole bunch pressed , cool controlled fermentation in stainless steel , bottled early and dry, complete with screw cap. The tasting notes on the bottle are mine and  about right . Wild salmon pink – The colour comes mainly from Rondo  although the blend is 33% Pinot Noir .  Stawberry , pear , swirl of red summer fruit sweetness and acidity and a touch cream on the finish . The acidity is crisp and balanced with  touch of residual sugar .
Its a pretty versatile wine going with seafood , salmon, sausages and salad . It is also a fantastic partner to the great English Cheese – Stinking Bishop.

The most widely available English Rose . Available at Chapel Down , Tenterden, Waitrose ( national )


Biddenden Ortega 2008  alc 11%    £8.75

Winemaker- Julian Barnes

Biddenden’s all conquering Ortega from 2008. Only a few case left and at £8.75 something of a bargain. Ortega is an interesting grape for England, hampered perhaps by its slightly misleading South American sounding name. It ripens early,has high must weights ,retains its acidity and its thin skin allows it to rot noblely. 

 The grapes for this wine had a natural alcohol of 12%,it has retained some residual sugar and the actual alcohol is 11%. Whole bunch pressing has avoided some of the potentially more phenolic characters that come from crushing . Colourwise it is an intense pale gold , past adolescence but still youthful. The nose is clean, pear,cucumber, hawthorn and elder. The wine is unoaked (Ortega is powerful enough to take oak – Plumpton do a good version in American oak) pure and distinctive with a herby spiceiness. This wine will drink well for the next 5 years . Buy it while you can .

From the vineyard in Kent

Nutbourne Bacchus  2009       alc 11%

Winemaker- Owen Elias

Navigate your way through the sunken lanes of West Sussex until you find the iydilic Nutbourne Vineyard, then reward yourself with the pale and fragrant Bacchuis 2009.

The nose is a little shy at the moment , grassy with a hint of pineapple,this is an off dry wine from the fabled 2009 vintage. Picked earlier than some,more subtle and sancerre,bacchus from the Nutbourne greensand is perfumed and delicate with a crisp acidic backbone. This Bacchus will benefit(as will most bacchus) with a few months bottle age, drink it now by all means, keep it if you can and drink over the next 2 years .

The balance of acidity and sweetness makes this wine an excellent partner with Pork , Chinese and Asian food.

Available from the Vineyard

Chapel Down Bacchus 2009     alc 13%      £9.99

Winemaker – Owen Elias (and others)

Much copied but seldom surpassed  Chapel Down were the Bacchus pioneers . Early picking, whole bunch pressing,cool ferments ,selected aromatic yeasts ,early bottling and straight onto the shelf . 2009 saw a couple of small tweaks , higher must wieghts (sugars) and a couple of different yeasts that had been trialled last year.

Pale as always,very clean ,bit of gooseberry, rose petal, elderflower, hint of kiwi and cooked rhubarb on nose and palate .At 13% , this is a heavy weight in Engish terms . The notes for bacchus always used to read “racey and up-front in its youth” holds true and yes, it will age elegantly and interestingly over the next 5 years . 

From the Vineyard , Waitrose , Booths .

Trophy and Gold medal winner  UKVA 2010.

Chapel Down Tenterden Estate Bacchus Reserve 2009    alc 13%   £12.99

Winemaker – Owen Elias  (and others)

There isn’t much Tenterden Estate Bacchus around and the 2009 is pretty good.

The grapes were harvested with higher sugars than normal though the acid level remained high which is usual for Bacchus.

The nose is intense,white flowers ,hawthorn,rose petal , almost an hint of mint . These flavours follow through to the palate meeting up with refreshing acidity and a slight tannic grip. Beware this wine is 13% . A serious wine with cellaring potential . Drinking very well now but fantastic in 6months to 2 years.

From the vineyard

UKVA Gold medal winner  2010  


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