Dorset’s finest English wine producer, Furleigh Estate in Bridport, has released THREE new sparkling wines to add to its expanding portfolio –a Blanc de Noirs 2014, along with new Classic Cuvėe 2013 and Classic Cuvėe 2014.
With a track record of international awards behind him, Furleigh’s winemaker, Ian Edwards, is keen to keep consumers on their toes when it comes to discovering the diversity and complexity that grapes grown in English soil have to offer:
“English wine makers are excelling in producing high quality sparkling and still whites, and as a result consumers are more switched on to the quality being produced and grape varieties that they’re drinking. We want to keep on surprising people’s palates with different ways of using varieties that grow well in the UK such as Pinot Noir, which is a classic ‘champagne’ variety used in both our still and sparkling wines.” Says Ian.
Furleigh Estate Blanc De Noirs 2014 challenges the traditional trio of grape varieties that make up the majority of English sparkling wines and Champagne, by being made entirely from black grape varieties Pinot Noir (88%) and Pinot Meunier (12%), producing a creamy mousse on the palate with rich ripe red fruity flavours. Grapes were hand-picked and pressed slowly to obtain the best juice. Following the methode champenoise with secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine was left to mature in contact with its lees for over 15 months.
Furleigh has also released two new Classic Cuvėe vintages made from grapes grown in 2013 & 2014, and despite both being composed of an equal blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the vintages offer very different flavours on the palate, a reflection of age and terrior. The Classic Cuvėe 2013 gives a creamy mousse with nutty nuances of roasted almond plus savoury notes from the yeasty complexity, giving a crisp, dry and long finish. In contrast the Classic Cuvėe 2014 offers bigger citrus fruit flavours of grapefruit and Sicilian lemon, with a much more subtle autolytic character.
“England’s unpredictable climate means yields and vintages can vary dramatically. In 2012 no sparkling wine was made, yet 2013 and 2014 saw production double at Furleigh. When we have a good vintage, the cool English climate and long growing season coupled with fertile soils give crisp refreshing fruit driven wines” says Ian.
Owners Rebecca Hansford & Ian Edwards only planted their first vines at Furleigh just over 11 years ago and now produce on average 40,000 bottles of quality sparkling wine and 10,000 of still wines a year, with a portfolio of 9 different wines to choose from (5 still wines including white, red and rose and 4 sparkling wines). This year Furleigh has had a fantastic run of awards– the Brut Rosė 2010 picked up a trophy at the International Wine Championships and silver medal at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships, the Classic Cuvėe won silver at the International Wine Championships, and Bacchus Fumė 2014 won a trophy at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition for the most outstanding oaked white wine.
The key to Furleigh’s success in producing diverse high quality English wine, as others in the industry will agree, is commitment and passion to producing the best for their customers:
“When it comes to producing wine, we are not only influenced by the grapes that grow well in our local climate and soil, but also by the styles of wine that our customers enjoy. Our cellar door is open to the public almost every day of the year, so we get direct feedback from customer as to what they enjoy drinking and preferred styles. We supply wine to some of the best restaurants in London and the South West, and what they order for their customers is also a good indication of favoured styles,’ says Rebecca.
Rebecca Hansford: 18th Jan 2017 13:07:00