Two and a half years after releasing the first internationally accredited biodynamic white wine to be made in the UK – Sedlescombe, a Sussex based vineyard, has announced the forthcoming release of two more wine styles – The first sparkling and the first red wine to be produced in England to the exacting standards of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association (BDA)
The two new Sedlescombe wines are being introduced by proprietors Roy and Irma Cook, in nine days of free tastings to be held during English Wine Week. (25th May – 2nd June) at their vineyard in ‘1066 Country’, near Battle in East Sussex.
The Sedlescombe 2010 vintage Premier Brut is a sparkling white wine made in the classic Champagne style from 60% Seyval Blanc and 40% Johanniter grapes grown at the home vineyard and at the nearby vineyard at Bodiam Castle managed by the Cooks. A ‘Traditional Method’ secondary fermentation of minimum 18 months is credited in its tasting notes as adding “a toasty flavour” to the wine’s “tangy tropical fruit palate”.
Somewhat unusually, but in keeping with Sedlescombe’s eco-philosophy of ‘minimal packaging’ this fizz does not have a capsule covering the cork and wire hood. Instead, the exposed wire-hood proudly displays the lunar logo associated with the Sedlescombe brand.
The Sedlescombe 2011 vintage Regent is an oak matured red wine made from the high quality Regent grapes gathered in the outstanding harvest of that year from the Sedlescombe Millennium vineyard.Â The exceptionally high sugar levels achieved in 2011 ensured an adequate natural alcohol level of 11.74%, making *chapitalization unnecessary (*the standard practice of adding sugar to grape juice in northern climatic zones), while 7 month maturation in French barique oak barrels has produced a smoky full bodied wine of notable complexity.
Both wines have achieved independent ‘Quality’ designations administered by Wine Standards and are uniquely (for the UK) marked with the Demeter symbol to signify their adherence to the international standard set by the BDA.
Co-proprietor and wine maker Roy Cook is quoted as saying “I have no doubt that my decision to upgrade from organic to full biodynamic status in 2010 has added an extra quality to our wines and helped to define their unique ‘terroir’. We have been making sparkling wines since 1990, with very good results – but I am confident that the 2011 Brut is our best sparkler ever. The 2011 Regent is in my opinion as good as, and potentially even better than our award winning 2003 vintage.
Roy Cook continued “I am entering both wines into two competitions: the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) Wine of the Year competition, and the International Organic Wine Awards to be held in Germany in early June. I know we shouldn’t count our chickens, but do believe these remarkable wines are worthy of independent recognition; we’ll see!”
Founded in 1979 by Roy and Irma Cook, with Soil Association certification gained in 1982, Sedlescombe Vineyard is England’s oldest and largest organic wine producer. In 2010 Sedlescombe moved to “premium organic” status by becoming the first vineyard in the UK to gain biodynamic certification. The vineyard has performed well over the years, consistently producing wines that gain top EU “Quality” appellations and year by year winning a host of awards including a first for its dry white.