The vineyard was hit with severe spring frosts for the first time in 2017, damaging many of our buds and impacting yield. From this low point, things improved dramatically. The warm, dry weather stretched from late spring through to a lovely Indian summer, leaving us with a small crop of beautifully ripe grapes at harvest.
In 2017 we hand-picked our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes from our Dobson and Thomson blocks in early to mid October. Each parcel was whole-bunch pressed and fermented separately. All wines underwent malolactic conversion; 16% of the blend was fermented and aged in old Burgundy barrels to add complexity. The base wines were blended and bottled for the second fermentation in February 2018, before spending over 30 months on lees.
Disgorged late in magnum bottles, the 2017 Classic shows similar complexity to the brooding 2016, but with extra freshness and finesse. Ripe orchard fruits are balanced by crisp acidity and a rich autolytic character (pastry, brioche, biscuit). The soft, generous mouthfeel is pure Oxney.
Grape varieties: Pinot Noir (40%), Chardonnay (38%), Pinot Meunier (22%)
Alcohol (ABV): 11%
Closure: Diam cork
Soil Association Certification: GB-ORG-05