Balfour Winery in Kent has just launched its first Blanc de Noirs using Pinot Noir and Meunier from the excellent 2018 vintage.
The new sparkling wine has been created by the father and son winemaking team, Owen and Fergus Elias, using grapes from its top sites in the heart of the Weald of Kent,
The signature style of all Balfour’s vintage wines means it has not undergone malolactic fermentation, and the new cuvée contains 75% Pinot Noir with 25% Meunier, all grown on a combination of rich clay and Kentish ragstone, which is a hard limestone exclusive to the county.
Foxridge vineyard, located at the highest point of the estate above Hush Heath Manor is considered to be the cornerstone of the Blanc de Noirs 2018. Regarded as the Estate’s ‘hidden secret’, it produces especially ripe Pinots that have also been selected for Luke’s Pinot Noir and successful Suitcase Pinot Noir, which is part of the Balfour Winemaker Collection.
Speaking about the vineyard, and the new sparkling wine, Owen Elias, who in 2010 planted the site with some very unusual clones, said:
“We had to wait a long time until conditions were right to perfect a Blancs de Noirs blend. In 2018 that chance arrived. The weather was hot and sunny from spring to harvest, the quantity was unheard of, and the quality superb. That was the year that English wine came of age – and our Balfour Blanc de Noirs with it.”
The sparkling wine will be disgorged in 500 bottle batches, and retail for £35. For more information visit the Balfour Winery Website.
English sparkling wines continue to grow in quality and popularity. Last year, we included British winery Nyetimber’s sparkling rosé NV in our list of top sparkling wines. It has bright red fruit aromas and a flavor of shortbread and British summer fruits. From an estate once owned by Henry VIII and Pippa Middleton’s wedding wine, the rosé is steeped in rich history and yet is a feat of modern winemaking.