In November last year we met Dermot Sugrue, the man widely acknowledged to be England’s finest winemaker. To say that we were impressed is an understatement; his Sugrue South Downs wines are, without question, amongst the best sparkling wines we have tasted over the past 12 months, and that includes all of the cuvée prestige Champagnes. Those that haven’t tried these wines are missing out.
The latest Sugrue release is his very first rosé, a wine named “Rosé ex Machina” on account of its serendipitous conception: 2016 was so fine in quality yet so meagre in quantity that Dermot had decided to make just one wine, putting all of his fruit into the prestige “Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan”. Then, just as the harvest was coming to an end, he was offered some outstanding fruit from the beautiful Jenkyn Place Vineyard in Hampshire; this is the source of “Rosé ex Machina”. Just 4,500 bottles and 200 magnums were produced.
We have tasted the wine and it is exceptional. A blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay that has spent almost 6 years on its lees, it is distinctly vinous, full and rich with a perfect edge of chalky minerality. It will put many of the best rosés from Champagne to shame.
Freshly released, we have a small parcel available at £300 per 6 bottles in bond. This is the finest English sparkling rosé we have tasted; indeed one of the most exciting English wines we have ever encountered.
|England||2016||Sugrue Ex Machina Rose, Sugrue South Downs|
Max. 6 bottles per customer
6 bottle minimum order
|BT||4 \ 0||48||600.00||12||48||66.666666666667||95.10||95.10||Sugrue Ex Machina Rose, Sugrue South Downs||0.75||20|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
A bright salmon pink with vibrant mousse. Beautifully perfumed, floral and appealing on the nose. Wild strawberries, rose petal and grapefruit zest combined. There’s a wonderful purity and precision to the clean and mineral aromatics – as if you can smell the Sussex chalk itself. Initially full and rounded on the palate, the high percentage of Pinot Noir lending a fatness in body and a plump velvety texture. Following this comes a highly refreshing steely core of citrus fruits with the 30% Chardonnay component of the blend adding ‘cut’, minerality and zinging nerve. A complex, enduring and refreshing finish leaves you reaching for another glass. This is another great result from Dermot Sugrue and one of the most exciting English wines we have ever tasted. It would seriously embarrass a number of expensive big-name, rosé Champagnes in a comparative tasting.
Both orange peel and Red Delicious apple figure on the nose, alongside a subtle hint of fresh Viennoiserie that turns into shortcrust with more air. The palate strikes immediately with its effortlessness: there is that lovely balance between juicy freshness and mellow ripeness that you get in red apples. The slender body fizzes away with tiniest bubbles, lending creaminess and gentleness, expressing serenity, beauty and depth. Very elegant, lovely now, certain to evolve into a grandiose and gastronomic rosé.