As I mentioned a week or so back, we sponsored the UK Sparkling Wine award at the Edinburgh Fizz Festival and were delighted to see it won by Hush Heath with their fabulous rosé (but more about that later!).
Winners are decided by the public attending the event; that way everyone can be sure that the winner has genuinely broad appeal.
No wonder, then, that our picture shows Hush Heath’s Zoe Dearsley smiling broadly when she received the trophy from the well known magazine editor and sports writer, Richard Bath.
Here, then, are Zoe’s comments about the winery followed by my thoughts on wines they produce there
A View from the Winery
“Hush Heath Estate is a boutique, family-owned English wine and cider producer hidden deep in the ‘Garden of England’. Richard Balfour-Lynn planted the very first vines of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in 2002 and enjoyed a successful inaugural vintage in 2004.
From the beginning, the ambition was to grow premium quality grapes that would enable us to produce a world-class, traditional method sparkling wine to showcase the merits of English (Kentish) terroir.
Today, due to the incredible success of Balfour Brut Rosé (served on luxury Belmond trains in the UK and British Airways First Class), our range has increased substantially.
We pride ourselves on producing sparkling and still wines and ciders which are uniformly characterised by a clean, crisp and vibrant acidity with concentrated ripe fruit.
All of our fruit is estate-grown, handpicked and processed at our state-of-the-art winery on site. Hush Heath Estate is open to visitors from 11-5pm, seven days a week.”
And a View about the Winner
Beautiful English Rosés (as well as Roses)
Understandably so, as Balfour 1503 Rosé (£19.99 – or a single bottle price of £24.99 and 11.5% abv) has fresh, lively lemon acidity and a spicy edge that adds complexity to its bright strawberry and raspberry fruit.
From the Same Stable
Over at Tesco, they also sell the conventional white 2015 Decanter award winning version Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvee Brut (around £25 a bottle from Tesco by the Case if not in store). They are also keen to promote a version they have built into their Finest* range.
There is a dramatic initial surge of bubbles to the Non Vintage Finest* English Sparkling Wine (£17.50 at Tesco and 11.5%) but this quickly subsides to open the door to the wine’s soft, red apple and peach fruit with touches of honey and a lemon puff biscuit finish. There are sweet edges here as the wine has similar residual sugar levels to some prosecco.
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