I scheduled this lovely Pinot for the Easter weekend when I tasted it back in January and it now coincides neatly with the The Big English Wine Easter, a programme of online events – mostly on instagram – designed to support English wineries and raise money for The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action (producers will contribute a percentage of sales from the weekend). The main event is on Saturday 3 April, from 7pm – 8pm, when wine lovers will open bottles of English wine and share them on social media using the hashtags #BigEnglishWineEaster and #BEWE.
Back to my choice. Sam Lintner, winemaker and MD of Bolney in West Sussex, was one of the first to show how good English Pinot Noir could be as a still red wine and hers continues to be a trailblazer. It doesn't aspire to be Burgundy. It doesn't aspire to be Central Otago or Oregon Pinot Noir. It's proudly, elegantly itself.
The 2019 has beautifully perfumed, focused fruit – think raspberries, cherries, a touch of cranberry, rose and orange zest – and combines it with gossamer-fine tannins and a gently nutty, savoury quality from brief ageing in oak barrels. Crack open a bottle with duck, quail, roast chicken, new-season lamb, salmon, pasta with mushroom sauce or on its own and raise a glass to The Big English Wine Easter. 12%
The Bolney Estate Pinot Noir 2019, West Sussex, England