Next month's ProWein International Trade Fair for Wine & Spirits will see Hampshire's Black Chalk seek opportunities to launch its wines to the international arena. As part of the WineGB stand, Black Chalk will also use the fair as an opportunity to launch its second vintage of the well-received Wild Rosé.
I had a chance to sample a preview of the Black Chalk Wild Rosé 2016 at yesterday's Vineyards of Hampshire tasting in London. The second vintage follows in the footsteps of its expressive 2015 predecessor, with confident characteristics of English red berry fruit. Think wild strawberry, raspberry and tangy cranberry with a lingering hint of winter spice and lightly honeyed notes. A truly worthy follow-up that I look forward to reviewing fully in the coming weeks.
I have previously covered the launch of the inaugural Black Chalk wines, the Classic 2015 (£35.00) and the Wild Rosé 2015 (£40) in the Great British Wine April Round-Up.
About Black Chalk
Black Chalk wines are sourced entirely from Hampshire grapes grown on chalk soil. Both wines are small batch and made in the traditional method and are a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, with the grapes hand selected each year from some of the county’s finest vineyards. The wines have an unusually high proportion of Meunier (34% in the 2015 Classic and 38% in the 2016 Wild Rose) – an as yet under-rated variety in English winemaking, and one which Leadley believes is ideally suited to Hampshire’s chalklands. Stylistically, purity of fruit is key, along with structure and a complex, balanced palate. The careful use of oak for a proportion of the wines and time on lees helps to develop this complexity.
Black Chalk is a family affair, with Leadley’s wife Rebecca partnering on the venture along with Leadley’s parents-in-law and brother-in-law. Commenting on the plans, Leadley said: “we have been thrilled with the reception to our inaugural vintage and look forward to building on this success in the U.K. and to exploring opportunities in other markets. The English Wine Industry is becoming established as a serious category on a global level, particularly in the more mature markets. We are keen to pursue opportunities here and this includes participating in ProWein’s Route USA initiative. We look forward to flying the flag for English Wine - and Hampshire in particular – in Düsseldorf.”
To date, Black Chalk wines have received the following awards for the inaugural vintage: IWC silver for Black Chalk Classic 2015; and Decanter Wine Awards silver for Black Chalk Wild Rose 2015.