Vineyards of Hampshire - Part 1


It goes without saying that we’re really excited about our new Champagne and Sparkling Wine Festival at M Threadneedle Street Restaurant on 25 April. We hope you are too and, to get you in the mood for fizz over the coming weeks we’ll be highlighting the many stars of the sparkling wine world who’ll be showing their wines at our show. First up, we have been lucky enough to secure the participation of Vineyards of Hampshire and - talk about serendipity - they held a great joint tasting a couple of weeks ago which we were privileged to attend. Below is Part 1 of our review of the event.

From a corner of the South that is forever England, Vineyards of Hampshire bring together eight of the county’s best fizz producers in a joint venture to promote the county’s wine and wine tourism. Black Chalk, Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Exton Park, Hambledon Vineyard, Hattingley Valley, Jenkyn Place and Raimes have cleverly gathered resources to raise the profile and awareness of a terroir and landscape that’s producing increasingly exciting and characterful wines. 

 The Wine Gang attended their joint tasting a couple of weeks ago in London and were impressed – but not surprised – by the overall quality of the wines, with some truly outstanding examples asserting the potential of the region and the expertise of producers.

 We are thrilled to confirm that Black Chalk, Hambledon and Cottonworth will be among the exhibitors at our forthcoming Champagne & Sparkling Wine Festival!
(watch this space for more Hampshire names soon!)

Having tasted all the wines at the event, below is the first instalment of our notes:

Black Chalk -

Jacob Leadley’s wines were one of our favourite discoveries of 2018. After working as the winemaker for Hattingley Valley for seven years Jacob decided to start his own project and the success was immediate. He sources fruit from carefully selected growers to produce blends with a trademark minerality, hand in hand with a very English acidity.


Black Chalk Classic 2015, Hampshire, England
49% Chardonnay, 34% Pinot Meunier, 17% Pinot Noir. 12% ABV
Extremely elegant autolytic profile with toast, bread dough and brioche aromas underpinned by a distinctive flintiness.

Black Chalk Wild Rosé 2015, Hampshire, England
41% Pinot Noir, 38% Pinot Meunier, 21% Chardonnay. 12% ABV
Raspberry, red cherry and blood orange weaved by a lovely texture and savoury finish. Precise and elegant.

Black Chalk Wild Rosé 2016, Hampshire, England
Gently saline, this wine has notes of blood orange, pink grapefruit, pink peach and wild strawberry. The fruit is carried elegantly by a precise acidity. We’ll want to taste this wine again when it develops the roundness of the 2015.

Cottonworth -

Cottonworth’s wines have been performing particularly well in blind tastings and competitions. It’s in part because the Liddell family’s wines from the Test Valley offer a particularly good acidity/fruit balance, close to that of some continental counterparts. In addition to the two wines they are currently producing (below) they’ll soon be adding a Blanc de Blancs to the range.

Cottonworth Classic Cuvée NV, Hampshire, England
46% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay, 9% Pinot Meunier. 12% ABV. Dosage 6 g/l. Based 0n the 2014 vintage.
Elegant and precise with notes of brioche and toast lifted by yellow apple, pear and blanched almonds.

Cottonworth Sparkling Rosé NV, Hampshire, England
48% Pinot Meunier, 47% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Precoce. 12.5% ABV. Dosage 7 g/l.
Gentle yet structured. There’s a lifting fresh character of raspberry, cranberry juice and sanguinella, but also the crunchiness of pear and quince.

Hambledon Vineyard -

Hambledon’s greatest asset is without a doubt its chalky soil, originally formed in the Paris basin. The same is found in Champagne’s best Côte des Blancs sites so it is not surprising that Hambledon focuses on Chardonnay-based blends. England’s oldest commercial vineyard, the estate now has a total of 200 acres under vine and all the wine is made with estate-grown, hand-harvested fruit. Malolactic fermentation and extended lees ageing are the trademarks of Hambledon’s style.

Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV, Hampshire, England
40% Chardonnay, 31% Pinot Meunier and 29% Pinot Noir. Dosage 7 g/l. 12% ABV. Based on the 2014 vintage.
24 months on the lees certainly contribute to a distinctive creaminess but this doesn’t diminish the edge of this wine’s high acidity. Aromas of lemon zest and white grapefruit with a herbal hint of infused lemongrass. A wine with great focus.

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV, Hampshire, England
90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. Dosage 10g/l. 12% ABV.
A pale pink rosé with a lot of character. It slightly put us off due relative lack of integration of fruit and acid but we can see these coming together with the right food pairing. Aromas of wild red berries alongside a pleasant citrus twist.

Hambledon Première Cuvée NV, Hampshire, England
73% Chardonnay, 3% Pinot Meunier, 24% Pinot Noir. Dosage 7 g/l.
Both fresh and structured, Hambledon’s Première Cuvée shows a fantastic aromatic balance: lemon, green apple and lime zest on one side of the scale; toast, bread dough and roasted almonds on the other. Very elegant and refreshing.

— posted by Ines Salpico & Anthony Rose  


Ines Salpico