With the English Wine season about to begin, we also see producers from around the country releasing their latest wines as the buzz and anticipation towards Wine GB Press & Trade Tasting (26th April) and English Wine Week, at the end of May, builds. One of the most anticipated wine releases of the year so far is Jacob Leadley’s Black Chalk label. Jacob has been a winemaker at Hattingley Valley in Hampshire since 2011, and he has worked on over 100 English Sparkling Wines to date. He also produced GBW favourite and the highly regarded Hattingley Entice, a dessert wine made from Bacchus using the ice wine technique.
Today sees the launch of his own Black Chalk Classic 2015 and Black Chalk Wild Rose 2015 wines, which are retailing at £35 and £40 respectively. Both wines are a blend of the classic three Champagne varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. The grapes were sourced entirely from Hampshire and grown on chalk soils. Both wines have put a strong focus on Pinot Meunier (34% in the Classic and 47% in the Wild Rose) in the blend, which we expect will impart a distinctive character. Indeed, Jacob believes that Meunier is particularly suited to the chalky Hampshire terroir. In both wines, the purity of fruit is a stylistic key, while complexity and structure are achieved through lees ageing and careful oak use.
Commenting on the launch, Leadley said:
“Black Chalk has been nine years in the making; the journey has taken me and my family across the globe but has always been focused on England. When quitting my job in The City, my ultimate ambition was to create my own wine. I am in a fortunate position to be able to make wine from what is – in my opinion – the best county for grape production, and at a time when the English Wine Industry is fast coming of age; it is incredibly exciting. My aim has been to create wines which really typify Hampshire’s chalklands, a terroir that is becoming synonymous with pure fruit expression. We are delighted to be working with Nik and the team at Red Squirrel - they are perfectly placed to take Black Chalk to the trade. For me, Black Chalk is all about beautifully crafted wines from the finest sourced grapes, that people can share and enjoy.”
We look forward to talking (and tasting) more about the Black Chalk wines in our upcoming Great British Wine April Round-Up, due to be published at the end of the month.
The Black Chalk Classic and Black Chalk Wild Rose are now available to pre-order directly from www.blackchalkwine.co.uk for delivery in the first week of May. The wines will also be distributed by specialist wine distributor Red Squirrel in the UK.