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Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV launched

Following a multi-million pound regeneration of the UK estate, Hambledon Vineyard has launched its first commercially available sparkling wine, Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV. At the same time, the company has appointed a new and exclusive distribution agreement with UK wine importer and distributor, Fields, Morris & Verdin.

With the launch timing coming hot on the heels of its takeover of Meon Hill estate, Hambledon is fast becoming a major emerging player in the English sparkling wine market. This momentum is set to continue over the next 12 months in the run up to the launch of Hambledon’s flagship wine, Hambledon Première Cuvée, in 2015 - a wine that company managing director Ian Kellett aims to develop into "England’s finest NV sparkling wine".

Kellett comments, “The launch of Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV is a very important landmark for us at Hambledon Vineyard, as we look to re-create the success of Hambledon from the 1950s when it was the UK’s first commercial vineyard. We’re delighted to be partnering with the team from Fields, Morris & Verdin, who have a long history of working with top quality, terroir-focused wineries from across the world. The Hambledon brand sits perfectly within their stable and we look forward to helping them develop strong relationships for us within the UK’s top end restaurant and prestige retail channels.”

Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV is an assemblage of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir from the 2011 and 2010 vintages. The wine was carefully blended under the guidance of one of Champagne’s most renowned chef de cave, head winemaker Hervé Jestin. The initial release will have had 20 months on the lees before disgorgement, but further lees ageing of up to 12 months will evolve during 2014/15. Extensive dosage trials finally concluded a low dosage of of 8 g/l was most appropriate.           

Described as vibrant, with aromas of sourdough, magnolia and lily with hints of smoke over a core of greengage apple and plum, the wine is linear, dense and long on the palate, but with the inherent momentum and power that bodes well for long ageing.

Hambledon is located on the South Downs in Hampshire and is England’s oldest commercial vineyard, originally established by Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones in 1952.   





13 May 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor