While most UK estates look to Reims and Epernay for inspiration, scaling their activities and ambitions to compete with the vast brands of the Marne, the focus at Danbury Ridge is directed toward grower Champagnes and the small domaines of Burgundy.
Now, just a few vintages into the project, and that early aspiration is being realised: Danbury Ridge is bottling wines that critics have already favourably compared to some of the finest addresses in Burgundy, Oregon and cool climate, New Zealand.
The first vines were planted in 2014 with an unwavering focus on still Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones to exploit the unique mesoclimate. After just a few seasons the vines were producing grapes of a ripeness previously unseen in the UK.
A red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Pinot Noir is notoriously difficult to cultivate due to its exacting soil requirements and sensitivity to wind and frost. Few places in the world are able to grow Pinot Noir successfully and in most cases the grape is used as a base for sparkling wine. However, the exceptional quality and unrivalled sugar content of Pinot Noir grapes grown on the Danbury Wine Estate means that award-winning still wines have been produced.
Showcasing notes of black cherry mixed with aromas of plum and mint. Hints of wood spices and cedar add complexity to the aromatics. Black fruits dominate the palate with silky smooth tannins and fresh acidity that leaves a lasting impression on the finish.
"Offering up aromas of sweet red berries, plums and spices, the 2018 Pinot Noir is medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, with lively acids and powdery, melting tannins. Whether it's merely the effect of an additional year in bottle or if it's due to vintage variation, this is the more sumptuous and gourmand of these two still Pinot Noir bottlings.
Drink 2020 - 2026.
(William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, April 2021)