One of the oldest remaining English wine estates, Bolney Wine Estate has launched its first still Chardonnay, with the 2020 vintage joining the Bolney Estate Range alongside the Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Pinot Gris.
Established in 1972, Bolney Wine Estate was set up by Janet and Rodney Pratt, considered pioneers in English wine making. Guided by the mild Sussex climate and sandstone soil, the pair eventually found the best varieties of grapes to grow in their eco-system. Today the business is still family-run, with Janet and Rodney’s daughter, Sam Linter, in charge of operations, having produced award-winning still and sparkling wines, from the Estate’s Pinot Noir and Estate Bacchus to sparkling Bolney Bubbly and Blanc de Blancs.
On the launch of the Bolney Estate Chardonnay 2020, Sam Linter, MD and head winemaker at Bolney Wine Estate, said: “The last year has been more than challenging for everyone, but we’re so pleased that something positive has come out of it for Bolney and our customers with our 2020 grapes ripening to perfection. We are so excited to reveal our Chardonnay 2020, it really is the ultimate wine to enjoy in the sunshine and we hope people will fire up the BBQ or grab the picnic blanket and enjoy a Summer of Chardonnay with us.”
A terrible year for almost everything else, 2020 was an excellent year for ripening – the best Bolney Wine Estate has experienced in a few years – which makes for great timing for their first still Chardonnay. While Chardonnay wines tend to have an often unfavourable reputation, renowned for being heavily oaked, the new varieties being produced are far fresher, with a fruit driven style. The cooler climate in the UK has resulted in the Bolney Estate Chardonnay 2020 retaining more fruit characteristics (particularly orchard and citrus fruits), compared to Chardonnay grapes grown in warmer climates.
Using 100 percent Chardonnay, the Bolney Estate Chardonnay 2020 is produced with the grapes crushed and macerated in the press for a short time, to increase extraction and ultimately add texture and weight on the palate. The grapes are then cool fermented in stainless steel, with 10 percent fermented in new French oak. The result is a textured, crisp Chardonnay, with aromas of apricot and orange peel joined by brioche and honeyed sweetness. Peach and baked apple dominate on the palate alongside some more orange peel, while the finish is fresh and fruity – ideal for drinking in the sun.
Bolney’s Estate Chardonnay 2020 is now available from the Bolney online shop, £24.99.