English Red Wines Coming of Age ~ Tasting the Superb New Release Hush Heath Manor Pinot Noir 2016 from Kent…

This historic estate dates back to 1503 with the exquisite Tudor-framed Hush Heath Manor serving as the family home of the Balfour-Lynn’s. The Manor nestles into the hill, overlooking the vineyards and estate with magnificent views across the Weald of Kent. The 160 hectares situated in an ancient oak woodland is impressive and a fitting setting for the Balfour wines.

The 2016 Pinot Noir is sourced from 16 hectares of vines planted on Wealden Clay over Tunbridge Wells Sand. Farmed environmentally friendly, the Burgundian Clones of Pinot Noir are trellised to the double guyot vertical shoot positioning system with a planting density of 3,300 vines per hectare. The 2016 harvest was hand picked between the 12th and 13th of October 2016.

Winemakers Owen Elias and Victoria Ash over saw the relatively cool fermentation’s at 26 to 28 degrees C on de-stemmed skins resulting in vibrant colour extraction and a lively fruit structure. The wine also underwent full malolactic fermentation before being aged for several months in American and French oak barrels.

Hush Heath Manor Pinot Noir 2016, Kent, English Quality Wine, 12 Abv.

An attractively vibrant crystalline ruby red colour, this wine possesses all the elegant perfumed beauty you’d expect from world class Pinot Noir. There are plenty of fragrant violets, cherry blossom and freshly plucked rose petals over scents of sappy spice, crushed red cherries, blackberries, pepper corns and resinous wood spice. Medium bodied and taughtly structured with a fine core of sweet / sour red plum fruits and vibrant, tart crunchy mouth watering acids. But unlike some cooler vintages, this wine’s palate shows ample flesh, a sweet depth of cherry and cranberry fruit and a complex array of exotic baking spices and raspberry herbal tea infusions on the long, persistent finish. Delicious to drink now already, this serious effort should show even more harmony and elegance in 1 to 2 years time.

(Wine Safari Score: 91+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

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