It’s always great to discover a new producer, and I was lucky enough to meet Blackdown Ridge at a recent St. Georges Day English Wine event hosted by The Guildford Wine Company.
Blackdown Ridge was founded by Professor Martin Cook, with the first vines planted in 2010. 2013 saw their first harvest and a trio of still wines were released, including this red blend of Rondo and (rather interestingly) Triomphe d’Alsace.
With a lovely deep red colour in the glass, this wine opens up with an impressive nose; bright red fruit of cherry and raspberry with underlying notes of wood and subtle spice.
The palate is remarkably balanced with a mild but pronounced acidity partnering slightly tart cranberry and raspberry flavours, before a smooth cherry mid-taste with some plummy notes. Behind it all is a lovely smooth vanilla and a pleasing finish with subtle tannin that is slightly peppered with spice.
A really promising first effort from Blackdown Ridge in that difficult field of English red wine, in fact it’s a little Beaujolais in style.