For all our readers we will now be bringing you regular full profiles from Wine behind the label with our ratings and price guides. This is one of the winery profiles for April included in the recently published 12th digital edition edition, which should give a small idea of what to look for with the guide. Here is a profile from Hampshire by Michael Edwards.
Hattingley Valley (Hampshire)
Hattingley Valley is the realisation of a long dream of proprietor Simon Robinson, a lawyer who escaped dusty legal casework for the rural idyll of East Hampshire. An ambitious project, Hattingley Valley runs to 24 hectares of vineyards in two sites, the coffers topped up with contract winemaking work for other English estates. There’s been headline news stories about a linkup with Pommery Champagne venturing onto English acres. That project seems to have gone quiet for now. Another initiative is admirably enlightened: In 2016, Robinson introduced the first apprentice scheme in the UK in partnership with the Worship Company of Vintners; recruits on the two year full-time scheme combine practical work in the winery with study at Plumpton (wine & viticulture ) College Nr Lewes.
From the Hattingley Valley range
Hattingley’s main cuv.es are overwhelmingly from the three authorised Champagne varieties, a special characteristic being a subtle touch of wine fermented in aged Burgundy oak piéces (228 litres). The Classic Brut Reserve is a blend of several harvests with 18% reserve winespartial malolactic conversion and a portion fermented in old burgundy oak to integrate English high acidity results in a harmonious wine for all occasions and tables – inviting notes of baked apple and patisserie. Yet long and pure with a moderate dosage of 7g/l. The 2014 Ros. from the best recent vintage is made from Pinot Noir and Meunier. Eight per cent of the cuvée is aged in old white Burgundy casks is an impressive combination of subtle salmon pink hue, delicate yet intense aromas and a winning softness of mouth feel without losing length and definition of flavour. Fine winemaking. The flagship Vintage dated King’s Cuvée from the home vineyard is a very limited edition release of their finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, 100 percent oak fermented, then aged for 4 months in old Burgundy cask. A lovely softness in the mouth enfolds purity of fruit, made more complex by just the right amount of autolysis. There are still magnums available of the 2011 Blanc de Blanc. An Indian summer well into October created some great Chardonnay. This is one of them. (ME)
Kings Cuvée very limited release ★★★★ £G
Blanc de Blancs Vintage edition (magnums) ★★★✩ £E
Classic Brut Reserve ★★★ £E
Vintage dated Rosé Reserve ★★★✩ £E
Ownership and Contact
Wield Yard, Lower Wield, Nr Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9AJ
Tel: 01256 389 188
To find out more read our background guide to England here
Our Introduction, Awards and How to use the guide will also help. This is taken from the 11th edition and is being updated to the new 12th edition – link