Jenkyn Place Brut 2008, Hampshire

After an entire and most definitely tormenting week packed full with cheeky (and eventually downright revolutionising) hard-drives as well as failing recovery discs it is time for some grand Fizz from England to alleviate my pain caused by techno issues. I guess, it’s been a while since I had my last English wine. Then, if my recollection is not mistaken, it was some Sparkling Brut 2005 from Breaky Bottom in the East of Sussex. Today it is time for some bubbly stuff from Hampshire. Just a bit south west of London there is a place in the North Downs in the town of Bentley which is called Jenkyn Place. Simon Bladon, property investor and entrepreneur, and his wife Rebecca turned Jenkyn Place in 2004 away from common agriculture to the growing of vines. Since then they cultivate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes on a mere of five south facing hectares. Their soils are characterized by greensand over marlstone. The actual production methods are pretty much comparable with traditional Champagne methods. All wines are made from classic grape varieties and spend around three years on the lees before being released to the public. Enough of personal w(h)ining and theoretical knowledge dropping! My Jenkyn Palce was the classical, if you can call such a young produce classical, Jenkyn Place Brut 2008. In 2008 this one was a blend of 72% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. Let’s have a quick sip …what do you think!?

The Jenkyn Place Brut 2008 showed really proper and highly radiant reflexes of pure slightly white’ish seeming gold. Its visual impression was downright full of youth! From its colour to the bubbles this sparkling wine has been able to emanate strength, vitality as well as quite a lot of juvenile cockiness. The mousse was really powerful, showed strong bubble burst potential and consisted of small, however very vivid, bubbles. At first the nose was dominated by fragrances of lemon pastry, white lilac flowers, a whiff of delicate vanilla, a few traces of rose water and here and there perhaps a few bright red berries. Some hours later, after the juvenile cockiness eased a bit, my nose fetched aromas of acidic red apples and more substantial impressions of baked sweet bread.
Right from the start my palate has been indulged with plenty of pressure, strong acid and an enormous amount of vital mousse. Perhaps in the first minutes this vital mousse appeared a bit too impetuous and “vivid”. However after a short while this rather snappy character turned into a convincingly vital, a bit rustic and really solid bubble-o-rama. The lemon pastry flavours were not as present as the nose might have predicted. Therefore the aromas of bright red berries and those traces of vanilla showed a bit more presence and depth. At this moment the Brut 2008 appeared still very juvenile and slightly monotonous. This however changed dramatically! After two to three hours the gain of substance and quality was pretty sweeping. Similar to the nasal development its actual balance, as well as all those impressive flavours of ripe apples, nicely tuned sweet bread and indications of grapefruit (far less lemon now) - all were stepping in the right direction. Then, after approx. three hours after opening it would have been hard for me to differentiate this English Sparkling with a well made standard cru from Champagne. On thing was totally obvious: This fizz is far too young right now! Keep off your hands from this one for at least a year or better two, please. I guess, the reward will be a nice treat! For me a true decent **** experience with clear ambitions too higher blessings! Really astoundingly good performance for a wine from totally young vines!

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