Danbury Ridge Wine Estate Pinot Noir 2019


13.0% ABV
Ripe red fruit aromas abound, with cherry to the fore, wood spices, and delicate smokiness

Following on from their superbly successful first vintage, Danbury Ridge have shown with their second Pinot Noir that they are not a one-hit wonder, but rather a wine estate that can deliver world-class wines in very different years. Ripe red fruit aromas abound, with cherry to the fore, and hints of wood spices, cedar and a delicate smokiness which add complexity to the aromatics. Both red and black fruits interweave on the palate with silky smooth tannins and a fresh acidity that manage to both caress and invigorate the tongue on the long finish.

The 2019 growing season began well with unseasonably warm weather and low rainfall during flowering, bunch closure and veraison. The low yielding Pinot Noir vines responded well and reached good ripeness levels. At the end of August, the potential for another exceptional harvest was promising. Even with the amount of rain that fell during September and October the grapes had the ideal amount of time on the vine to achieve full maturation of the grape tannins and complex phenolic development.

The fruit was handpicked and sorted in the vineyard and winery. Grapes received 90% destemming but no crushing to maintain whole berries. Using gravity the grapes were transferred to open-top fermenters for cold soak. Temperatures were allowed to increase naturally. After fermentation, wine was transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation, battonage and 10 months ageing. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Danbury Ridge was founded by two generations of the Bunker family: Michael and Heather Bunker and their daughters, Janine and Sophie. The first vines were planted in 2014, with an unwavering focus on still Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones to exploit the unique mesoclimate. After just a few seasons the vines were producing grapes of a ripeness previously unseen in the UK.

Estaurine Essex is smeared with a thick layer of London Clay, but at Danbury Ridge this tenacious deposit lies beneath a significant overburden of fluvial-glacial sand and gravel. It is this coarse aggregate, deep in some places, shallow in others, that makes Danbury Ridge so special. The Danbury Ridge mesoclimate comes into its own in late summer. Ripening does not stall with the autumn equinox. Natural woodland shelter belts, together with the light topsoils, magnify the effects of September sunlight.

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