Steven Spurrier and his wife Arabella are behind Bride Valley, located in West Dorset...
Steven, while running Les Caves de la Madeleine and L’Academie du Vin in Paris in the 1980s, had soil (chalky) samples from Arabella’s 80 hectare estate tested and the results came back: “very similar to Champagne”. This is not surprising because the village of Kimmeridge is just 24 miles as the crow flies from Bride Valley. After two decades and three visits from Boisset’s sparkling wine expert, Georges Legrand, vines were planted on the best sites in the bowl of the amphitheatre-like estate. Three hectares were planted in 2009, rising to a total of 10 hectares in 2013 when planting was completed.
Specific clones were selected on the advice of Pierre-Marie Guillaume, the owner of France‘s top nursery in Charcenne (east of Dijon). After intense analysis, seven Chardonnay clones (55% of the plantings), four Pinot Noir clones (25%) and two Pinot Meunier clones (20%) were selected. The vines are planted on south and south west facing slopes. In addition, 1,000 elder trees were planted to act as a natural windbreak to the breezes coming from the Jurassic Coast, four miles to the south. Bride Valley has been sustainably farmed for centuries and although the grapes are not certified organic, the vineyard continues to follow organic principles.
England had a later harvest in 2013 than 2012 to delayed budburst, following the long, cold winter earlier in the year, and subsequent later flowering. The long, warm summer provided ideal conditions for healthy development of both the vines and fruit. But the cooler autumn and particularly rain added to the delay in the start of harvest. High acidity has meant that 2013 was an excellent vintage for sparkling wines.
All of the grapes were hand harvested and then taken to neighbouring Furleigh Estate where Ian Edwards vinified the sparkling wine in his state of the art winery. The Rose colour was achieved by macerating the Pinot Noir grapes for 24 hours before pressing. The wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and underwent malolactic fermentation to give it roundness to balance the crisp acidity. After blending the Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier before tirage, the wine spent around 15 months on its lees and received 7g/l dosage before its release. There were only 750 bottles made in 2013.
A very pretty wine with an elegant charm. Pale blush in colour with delicate bubbles in the glass. The fruit characteristics show beautifully with aromas of raspberry and mixed red berries from Pinot Noir and a hint of citrus and structure from the Chardonnay.
85% Pinot Noir
5% Pinot Meunier
|Region||Dorset, Southern England|
|Consultant Winemaker||Steven Spurrier|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.