2015 Wiston Estate Winery, Blanc de Blancs, Sussex, England
Tamlyn Currin, jancisrobinson.com (April 2020)
About this WINE
Wiston Estate Winery
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
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Wiston's 2015 Blanc de Blancs is one of the finest English sparkling wines that I have encountered... to date. It was picked from October 22 to November 3 after a warm, dry October, the yield 15hl/ha, 50% fermented in stainless steel and 50% in old Burgundy barrels and aged on the lees for nine months. Dosage is 8g/L. This has a fantastic bouquet of bewitching scents of lime, green apple, honeysuckle and slithers of tinned peach, all beautifully defined. The palate does not disappoint, delivering exquisite balance, wonderful focus and a touch of mineralité toward the harmonious finish. Now this is how you make a great Blanc de Blancs.
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