England’s leading wine producer, Chapel Down, is to release a unique English grape brandy in June. The brandy is from the 1991 harvest of the Lamberhurst vineyard and has been aged in oak barrels for 23 years.
Just 2,000 bottles have been produced. It is made from the Seyval Blanc grape variety grown on the Lamberhurst Estate in Kent, then owned by Sir Kenneth McAlpine. The spirit was distilled in 1992 by Julian Temperley in Somerset and matured in French oak barrels for 23 years before being released by Chapel Down this year as England’s finest ever brandy produced from English grapes.
Mark Harvey, Chapel Down managing director, explains: “This is a magnificent and unique brandy made from one of England’s pioneering vineyards that has exclusively supplied Chapel Down for 20 years. Like all good things, it’s taken time, patience and skill to make something of which we are very proud.”
The limited release brandy is deliciously restrained with warming aromas of stewed fruit, dark honey and liquorice together with a complex palate of caramelised baked apples, cinnamon and spice and a velvety mouthfeel. Acclaimed spirits writer and expert, Neil Ridley, was delighted: “A brandy that defies categorisation...this has all the hallmarks of a complex Armagnac or Calvados, but finds its own, genuine personality. Very impressive stuff indeed.”
The Lamberhurst Fine & Rare English Grape Brandy (36.7% ABV) is individually numbered by hand and packaged in a premium gift box with an RRP of £150.00.
20 June 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor
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