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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Gifford's Hall Tasting

A tasting of four wines from Suffolk vineyard Gifford's Hall

Some time ago, I went through an English wine phase - more specifically, an East Anglian wine phase.

One sunny afternoon, we drove into Suffolk for a visit to Gifford's Hall for a tour of the vineyard and some cellar-door purchases.

The wines were, as I remember, typically English: distinctive and modern if relatively expensive. Gifford's Hall no longer vinifies any wines on-site (the grapes are trucked to Gloucestershire for that) and but are once again making wines under their own label with listings in Waitrose and Loch Fyne.

The estate has four different soil types from sandy clay loam over gravel to clay over chalk and, as a result, need to blend across blocks (blocks are vinified separately).
On reacquaintance, the wines are as I remember them; light, pure and clean with an aristocratic elegance.

Rosé 2013 reductive, cool climate, mineral; red fruits will open up more with air. Provencal-style rosé and compares well on price.

Light Oak whole-bunch pressed Reichensteiner from 2014; very pale, lightly oaked; neutral and lemony. Think basic Muscadet or Italian "super-neutral" white.

Bacchus 2014 floral, aromatic English hedgerow with good persistence. Characterful and distinctive, this marks out Bacchus' claim be the poster child for East Anglian wine.

St Edmundsbury 2014 deep red Rondo, floral nose with some sweet spice, cherry-fruited and Beaujolais-esque (and again, compares reasonably on price).

Available via the cellar door and at Waitrose.

Other related articles
English Wine at Circle of Wine Writers
English Wines at IWC Taste of Gold‏

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