The Vigneview Verdict
After hearing rave reviews, I was eager to open my bottle of Bolney Estate 2019 Pinot Noir from Sussex, England. The 2018 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2019 WineGB awards as well as several awards for other vintages. Despite these accolades, I have to admit that I was still a bit skeptical about trying this single varietal English Pinot Noir wine as I know tricky it is to grow this grape, as it requires a temperate climate with a relatively warm, steady growing season and England’s climate can be rather persnickety. One moment you’re huddled under an umbrella seeking refuge from torrential rains and then, in the blink of an eye, sunbeams and blue sky emerge in all their glory. Needless to say, growing vitis vinifera grapes in this unpredictable English terroir is not something for the faint of heart.
Described as ‘textbook perfect’, the 2018 English winegrowing season will go down as one of the best on record. Needless to say, the 2019 English winegrowing season certainly had a lot to live up to. Overall, it proved to be another good vintage; however, unusually high levels of rainfall mid-September through October proved to be a worry that the grapes would become over-diluted and split, thus presenting the perfect conditions for rot to develop. As a result, growers had to be extra vigilant and prepared for whatever harvest conditions they might encounter.
Once harvest arrived, the grapes were gently crushed in open-top stainless steel fermenters. Punch-down was carried out by hand in order to impart a softer extraction, which reduces the risk of having wine with harsh tannins. The wine underwent then underwent malolactic fermentation. Afterwards, a portion was aged in barrel for 6 months and then blended with the remaining wine prior to bottling.
This English Pinot Noir is definitely one of the best around. Aromas of fresh violets followed by ripe summer strawberries, bright red cherries and juicy red plums adorn the palate with a hint of mint, a dash of pepper, subtle vanilla and earthy notes. Soft, approachable tannins paired with ample acidity and a fair amount of alcohol come together to create a thoroughly enjoyable Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed on its own or with food. You’re going to be proud of this English Pinot Noir!
Pair this Bolney Estate 2019 Pinot Noir with delicious pork chops or my incredible savoury Baked Wild Mushroom and Bacon Risotto.
Producer: Bolney Estate
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Closure: Screw Cap
Colour: Medium Ruby
Acidity: Medium +
Floral: Violet blossoms
Red fruit: Strawberries, red cherries, cranberry
Herbaceous: Mint and thyme
Other: Vanilla (oak), earthiness and peppery spice
Drinking Window: Drink now!
Price: £22.99 (Majestic)