Balfour Launches Winemakers' Collection Trio

Balfour's Winemakers' Collection

Photo provided

Balfour's Winemakers' Collection

Balfour's Winemakers' Collection

Photo provided

Famous for its traditional-method sparkling wines, Kent-based Balfour Hush Heath Estate has released a trio of still wines.

The Winemakers' Collection

Father-and-son winemaking team Owen and Fergus Elias use this limited release Winemakers' Collection to showcase their "small batch winemaking philosophy" in which they "identify small parcels to create unique wines with distinct personalities." They do not use these words lightly since the wines are indeed unusual:  the white wine Cinque Ports is a blend of no fewer than five grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinots Blanc and Gris, Petit Meslier and Arbanne. The blend was oak-aged and is a beautifully nutty and textured wine.

The rosé Mary Rose is an experiment indeed: the fruit was fermented with oak isolated in Rioja and then aged in both French and American oak. Rather than overpowering the delicate Pinot Noir fruit of the wine, this treatment lends a most subtle creaminess to the slender wine and makes it a most gastronomic proposition. Finally, the red Pinot Noir, also aged in French and American oak, is an almost powerful souvenir of the 2020 vintage. Its vivid and ripe cherry still needs time to evolve, so some patience is recommended.

Pushing the envelope

Winemaker Fergus Elias says the series "gives us a chance to experiment with different wine-making techniques. As English winemakers, it allows us to go off-piste and try something totally new. We are endlessly fascinated by the potential of small batches of premium fruit and how blending these small parcels can create a wine that is totally unique. Each year we set ourselves a new challenge to see where it takes us; as winemakers, it definitely keeps us innovating and that is what Balfour is all about.The labels for the series were designed by British artist Henry Hudson.

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