Wow, what a nose! Chocolate, chestnuts, leather, dried tomato, gamey, mushroom, petrichor, and deep, deep black and red fruit. On the palate the fruit jumps bang to the foreground with bright, light ripe red fruits, wonderful black plum, truffle, dried thyme, mint, dill seed and fennel. The finish goes on and on.
The story of this wine starts when winemaker Owen Elias chose to plant the infamous Pinot Noir clones Dijon 828 and 777 on the prime Fox Ridge site above Hush Heath Manor. Clones cherished and guarded by the French for their quality, in the 1960s cuttings were allegedly wrapped in damp clothing and illegally smuggled from top burgundy vineyards into the US and have ever since been affectionately known as the ‘Suitcase’ clones. Challenging to grow due to their small tight bunches and lower yields but renowned for their colour, flavour and great potential for still Pinot Noir. For Hush Heath, this potential was realised in 2018, a vintage which will go down in the annals of English viticulture as an exceptional year for quality and quantity. Grapes were hand-picked into small boxes at perfect ripeness destemmed and lightly crushed for a 7-day ferment on the skins before the free run juice was drained for onward sojourn and full malolactic in French and American barrels and stainless steel. Only 5,000 bottles made.
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