August 9, 2005

Wine Blogging Wednesday 12: Drink Local, Real Local.

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes
Runnington Hill bottleI cant think of a nicer wine than the one I have just drunk with my lunch. Maybe its the combination of sun and alcohol? But then the wine only rates a lowly 10.5%.

With the wood pigeons cooing from the roof top, the bell from St.Mary’s chiming the hour and a gentle breeze rustling the wild flower bed and releasing the perfume from the last of the sweet-peas – and a glass of this English wine to accompany a light lunch of cheese, bread and tomatoes I am content and happy to be an Englishman.

That, or a bumptious old fart waffling on about nothing.

Now that the wine has been open a while a more complex nose has emerged – gone are the waxy lemon aromas, replaced with something more interesting, unique and evasive; due no doubt to the extended bottle age, this being from the 2001 vintage. The palate too, while light, very crisp from the high acidity, has a more honeyed edge to the flavour – its quite complex for this style of wine and offers a surprisingly good length too. It is a style of wine that not everyone will enjoy – thinking here how different it would appear during the depths of winter – but at the height of an English summer that sees the sun re-emerging from a depressingly long hiatus, its great.

Wine Tasting Note: Hendred Vineyard Runnington Hill, 2001, Oxfordshire. England.
From Local Tastes £5.99.
This is a blend of Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc from a small vineyard in the Vale of the White Horse. Hendred vineyard was established in 1972 with the grapes for this blend planted in 1991. A crisp, almost Sauvignon nose – with grassy hints and lemon rind. Distinctively light to medium bodied with a honeyed richness initially. Then a mineral, quite intense lemon edge emerges. A touch of spritz too. Fresh, crisp with high acidity.

Scribblings Rating – 90/100

The Wine Blogging Wednesday theme is drinking from the most local vineyard – I was spoilt for choice. There are several wineries within just few minutes drive from Henley. Closest I think is at Fawley, up a single track road in the heart of the beech covered Chiltern Hills. You can see the vineyards from the road. They do not appear to have any local outlets (certainly not in Henley) or a farm shop however. Over the other side of the hill is Hambleden and Chiltern Valley Vineyards. But this is in a different county (Buckinghamshire) I believe, so I ruled that out as a potential source. Then there is a vineyard north of Wallingford, a little further away, but again no gate sales and no local outlets unless I trek over to Abingdon. I resorted to buying from my veg-box supplier in Thame (Local Tastes) who list this wine and several others from the same vineyard. So, while it isn’t the exact closest vineyard to Henley, it is the closest I could find to buy.

My last thought is ‘that these people dont have a clue about marketing’.

  1. Alder August 11, 2005

    Andy. I love the “ant’s eye view” of the bottle. And it sounds like an interesting wine. I’ve never had the pleasure of drinking English wine. When I was living there I was a poor ignorant college student and I was drinking Portugese pink wines.

  2. Andrew August 11, 2005

    Cheers Alder – the fact I have to use the tiny camera on my mobile phone makes it even more tricky!
    Discovering ways to make a wine bottle look more interesting is becoming an obsession. Wish I had photoshopped out the glare of the sun though.
    One day a proper SLR digital will be mine!

  3. LENNDEVOURS August 17, 2005

    WBW #12 Roundup: 43 of You Drank Local — Real Local

    I love Wine Blogging Wednesday, the virtual wine tasting event that brings people from around the globe ‘together’ for a day of wine tasting. I love the people I meet and new friends I make each and every month. I

  4. Barbara August 21, 2005

    I’m envious of you enjoying lunch and a nice wine while sitting in the sun. A good way to spend any lunch hour I think. English wine is something I will have to look forward to someday as I have never seen any for sale here.

  5. Andrew August 21, 2005

    AAh, but then I don’t have the pleasure of a bottle of Penfolds Grange to sip! Unlike you…

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