Walsingham Estate Vineyard - Pinot Noir 2022
About the Vineyard:
Walsingham Estate Vineyard lies in the Stiffkey Valley, an easy walk to the south of Walsingham, close to the Roman Catholic Shrine at the Slipper Chapel and beside the former railway line which is now the Pilgrim Way. Part of the Walsingham Estate, the field was chosen for the vineyard as it is a gentle south facing slope, with free-draining soil studded with plenty of flint, above the all-important underlying bed of chalk. This same chalk seam runs all the way through south eastern England to Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy.
Planted in April 2019, 2022 is our first harvest and first vintage from our young vines. Our three grape varieties are two whites, Bacchus and Solaris, and one red, Pinot Noir.
The first harvest from a vineyard is always small but a very challenging start to the year with severe late frosts (with even a small frost on June 1) reduced our first yield even further, taking out probably about 1/3 of the potential grape clusters.
The hot dry summer - the drought in fact - meant grapes got very ripe but berry size and cluster size was small. There was also some bird and insect damage, probably because of high sugar levels in the fruit due to the heat, and also due to the drought reducing available water and food for wild creatures.
All grapes were hand harvested, with the total of our first harvest less than two tons. As a result supplies of the 2022 vintage are very limited!
Fermented on skins for 14 days, purely wild yeast. Aged in Hungarian oak barrels for seven months. A more Burgundian style of Pinot Noir with delicate floral aromatics. Fine tannins are beautifully integrated with the soft berry fruits and balanced acidity leading to a long yet complex finish.
This Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with charcuterie, ham and other cold meats, patés and terrines. It will also be great with roasted chicken, rabbit and quail! Because of it's light finish try serving it with dishes accompanied with light cream sauces!