£25.95 - a bottle
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Produced using the ‘methode champenoise,’ this sparkling wine has been through two fermentations. The second taking place in the bottle where sugar and yeast are added to convert sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide (the bubbles!).
It is pale salmon pink in colour, with hints of peaches and strawberries on the nose. The palate is soft, rich and creamy with complex brioche characters, a steely backbone and a long, elegant finish.
Following a very cold winter, warmer than average temperatures in early spring resulted in good growth of young shoots. Then an air-mass frost on 9th May resulted in some damage, particularly to the Chardonnay vines. Recovery was rapid with flowering and fruit set coming two to three weeks earlier than normal. After a very warm summer we began harvesting on 11th September, the earliest Litmus wines had received ripe Bacchus in over 30 years. But unlike 2016, the warmth did not extend into late summer and autumn, making the Pinot Noir more suitable for the production of sparkling rose than still red wine. Harvest was completed by 2nd October.
100% Pinot Noir.
The name is derived from the French word for pine and black, alluding to the highly clustered pinecone-shaped bunches of dark red fruit, (as opposed to the coppery pink colour of Pinot Gris). It is a thin-skinned grape which has proved temperamental to grow in certain soil and climate conditions, but can produce a very appealing light, fruity wine with low tannins.
Soil: chalky loam with flint on South facing slope overlooking the Stour Valley
Pruned: February 2018, using single guyot method
Harvested: 11 Sept - 2 Oct 2018, hand-picked.