Louis Pommery England Brut NV
You want a good news story from climate change? The warmer summers are helping make English wine much more viable.
Of course that’s not going to help much when crops fail and we run out of water. But hey, silver lining!
Sorry, I can’t help feeling gloomy after shuffling through articles like this.
Meanwhile, the Louis Pommery England Brut NV deserves positive vibes, as it’s another impressive English fizz and something of a pioneering wine.
That’s because it’s the first English sparkling released by a big Champagne house. There are other producers in the wings (with Taittinger planting vines with the intention to release wine by 2023) but this is the first one to market.
A classic blend of Chardonnay/Pinot Noir and Meunier, it’s made in collaboration with Hattingley Valley using fruit mainly from Hampshire and surrounds.
I’ve spent a little time in the South Downs and it feels like wine country. As you can see in my photo below (which is from Ridgeview), it’s verdant countryside punctuated by neat hedges, ancient yew trees and the odd English manor. There’s a rich history here of wealthy Londoners buying up farms to have as their country estate, and the horse vibe is strong. That London proximity is a blessing and a curse, as it allows access to market (and it’s commutable from London) but also means that land prices are seriously steep, which in turn drives up wine prices.
Pricey or not, this Louis Pommery England Brut NV is entirely drinkable wine. The acidity has that distinct English green apple tang, contrasted by a creamy lees character. Admittedly that lees is somewhat disjointed from the rampant acidity but adds another layer. Fresher than most NV Champagne, long and vital fizz.
More importantly is the promise of a wine like this. Balance the acidity to more lees ageing and you’ll likely have a crisp and sophisticated Champagne alternative.
The only problem? Geez it’s expensive. Like crazy dollars, weighing in at nearly $100 a bottle. That’s Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve (which I love) territory, and I know what I’d be spending my dollars on.
Still, this is yet another thirst-quenching UK fizz and another welcome English sparkling to land here in Australia.
Best drinking: it’s a NV so it should be now, though with no disgorgement date that’s hard to tell. Drink now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12%, $99. Would I buy it? I’ll drink a bottle easy, but the price means I’ll just have a glass.