Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cor blimney!

Another English wine recently appeared in Vinoland for my delectation, this time courtesy of Monkey.
The Limney, 2007 Horsmonden Dry White Wine, produced by Davenport Vineyards, is a wine that seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. Trying to understand the wine that was in my glass proved to be a little too taxing, when all I really wanted to do was simply enjoy a pleasing white wine as an apéritif...ho hum!
Davenport's website does little to shed light on the personality of this confusing tipple, even themselves quoting the wine as being "in conversion...half way to being organic." And Loire-style? What's wrong with English-style?
The wine is composed of five different grape varieties; Ortega, Bacchus, Faberrebe, Huxelrebe and Siegerrebe. As with the Denbies wine, that I enjoyed earlier this month, the Limney is a blend produced from grapes that are hybrids of predominantly German grape varieties - that in turn are themselves hybrids. Davenport Vineyards also grow Pinot noir at their Horsmonden farm and I wouldn't be surprised if they threw some of this into the mix also, a la the kitchen sink. Immediately upon smelling this wine I detected burnt matchstick which is an odour that is usually associated with an excess of sulphur dioxide. Given time this usually dissipates and sure enough, in this case, it blew off relatively quickly. Some people contend that the flavour of burnt matchstick is a tell-tale sign that a wine may contain Pinot noir...I personally think it simply illustrates the inherent funk that one often finds in organic wines. This wine was dry and quite crisp, but ultimately, and underwhelmingly, vinous. In the end, all the hyper-active-varietal-gymnastics were just a little too incestuous for my palate.
I have great hopes for the future of the English wine industry and genuinely look forward to enjoying many more wines from the likes of Denbies and Nyetimber. However, if now and again the odd, delusional producer insists on releasing a schizophrenic wine such as this offering from Davenport then, in my humble opinion, they will have only doomed themselves to failure and, perhaps even worse, ridicule.


Wartime Housewife said...

I hope this isn't a stupid question. England used to be plenty warm enough to grow far more wines than we do now. Have we always imported vines from abroad or did we ever have a native vine of our own?

Vinogirl said...

WH: Great question. I do not believe there is a native English grape variety: there seem to be no reliable records that would indicate that one ever existed. But, of course throughout history we have unstintingly made use of Italian, French and Portugeuse (even beating them up on occasion) wines in our pursuit of a good time.

monkey said...

as i said before it reminded me of something i ate in the garden as a young boy that i realy shouldnt have...hmm tenbellies said it went well with sprite, me i liked it.

Thud said...

Brit wine is coming on fine but this one didn't make the grade.