English vineyards are cracking the art of making fine sparkling wine.
Kentish winemaker Chapel Down has created the daddy of homegrown sparklers. Named after Kit’s Coty, a Neolithic megalith near the vineyard, its newly released Couer de Cuvée is, says winemaker Josh Donaghay-spire, made from the finest portion of juice extracted from the grapes harvested from “the very best bit of our very best vineyard.”
The pressed juice then undergoes wild fermentation in French oak barrels, allowing the natural yeast in the grapes to work. “That means you have a microbial diversity contributing different parts to the aroma, flavour and mouth-feel,” Donaghay-spire says. The result is refreshingly pure, with a bright apple flavour. A slightly richer, biscuity edge will develop after a few years, so spend your GBP100 wisely and, hard though it will be, consider letting the wine age. With only 1,600 numbered bottles available, it’s one to savour either way.
Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvée 2013 100% Chardonnay; 12% ABV 75cl; chapeldown.com