The Couch Valley in Essex is gaining recognition as possibly the best place in England to grow grapes for still wines. It is one of the driest and warmest parts of the UK with clay-based soil which are ideal for growing Pinot Noir.
For this wine, all the grapes came from a single vineyard site, Crow's Lane. A beautiful, long, hot summer in 2020 enabled the grapes to fully ripen on the vine, resulting in intensity of flavour and body. Harvesting took place between 8th and 17th October. The grapes are all Spätburgunder clones and the wine aims to showcase the terroir of this small piece of Essex.
The colour is deep ruby. On the nose there are delightful perfumed aromas of aromas of crushed cherries, blackcurrant and cuban tobacco. The palate reveals damsons, mulberry, blackcurrant and raspberry, with a top note of wild strawberry. Seventy percent of the wine was aged in french oak with the remainder in american oak all of which combines to give a wonderful underbelly of vanilla and sweet spices.
This is a wine which takes you on a journey - which you don't expect from an English red wine - although seemingly expensive it's worth every penny.
“Tobacco leaf and pressed cherries, autumn smoke. Really elegant, translucent; beautiful juice, long and even languid in the mouth. Fine, fine tannins. A sweetness and tracing paper-fine press of blue ink and cherry tobacco. I was taken aback by the price of this wine but it is pretty damn impressive.” – Jancis Robinson