A dry white wine, with notes on the nose and palate of peach and apricot, a hint of pastry, pear and white flowers, threaded with a touch of spice – possibly ginger. The palate is rich, honeyed fruit, balanced by a fine citrus acidity, spice and a long peach skin finish. It is a wine that is drinking well now and will keep for a couple of years.
The, grapes, grown in the Crouch Valley of Essex, were harvested at optimal ripeness – around 96 Oe if you’re a vinophile – on October 21st. They were destemmed, not crushed, and gravity fed to the press where they received a gentle press cycle. The wine was fermented to dryness in a combination of old Burgundian oak (30%) and earthenware (70%) over two weeks. After fermentation the wine was put in stoneware vessels (called Coralies) to age for 7 months. About 33% of the wine has undergone malolactic conversion, slightly changing the acid profile to a softer lactic acid, and about 50% of the wine sat on light lees with occasional stiring, providing a richer texture and a slight pastry / bread element. Low sulphite additions were made, and only light fining took place to preserve flavour.
Freedom of the Press is an urban winery on a hill in the Cotswolds. “That makes no sense” you might reasonably say. The original plan was to establish an ‘urban winery’ in Oxford with no vineyards of their own, buying the best grapes from across the country. They would operate more like an in-town micro brewery or boutique distillery than what most people think of as a vineyard. So that was the plan – they had a venue selected and everything. That was early Spring 2020. Covid took control of everybody’s lives, and the Oxford venue fell through. But just as it looked like it was curtains for the project they found a new home, a unit on a beautiful farm above Minster Lovell in the Cotswolds, 15 miles from Oxford.
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