style of wine is still being established as we find out more about the
skills of winemaking, the options available to the winemaker, and the
quality and mix of the grapes available.
In 2004 we made one wine from a blend of all three of our varieties
vinified together. These were fermened with standard Oenoferm yeast
with the fermentation taking three weeks in total. The wine was racked
once before Christmas, and again just before bottling in line with our
policy of minimising handling.
The wine was bottled in April 2005 (you can see the process here) and was named "Letcombe Brook"
in honour of the stream that flows through Wantage. We elected to
bottle in cobalt blue bottles (yes, we know blue bottles were usually
for poison) in order to make it instantly recognisable, and we think we
still are the only English Wine to be bottled in blue bottles.
The wine achieved a "Highly Commended" in both the 2005 and 2006 T&CVA Wine Competition.
2005 was a difficult year as late frosts severely impacted the total
harvest, with far fewer and smaller bunches. We again elected to vinify
all the varieties together as we had similar quantity to 2004. The
first racking was delayed until Feb 2006 which was probably too long as
the lees character of the wine stronger than we would like. As an experiment we
added some oak to the wine and this was allowed to sit until August
when it was bottled. In recognition of the added wood, it was named "Segsbury Oak" after the big oak tree on the local hill.
The wine achieved a "Highly Commended" in the 2006 T&CVA Wine Competition.
We also blended some of the 2004 and 2005 wines together and added a
touch of sweetness to make an easy drinking non-vintage wine which we
called "Intermezzo". This won
a "Bronze Medal" in the 2006 T&CVA Wine competition and gives us a
good indicator as to where we should be going with our wines.
This was a bumper crop, although the must was rather dilute due to
tumultuous last minute rains just before harvest. We have vinified the
bulk of the Reichensteiners and Madeline Angevine separately, and the
Phoenix with the remainder of the other two.
The wine has had its first racking and it is tart but with a fruity
nose. we are looking forward to blending tests in anticipation of
bottling in April 2007.