Greyfriars Classic Cuvée – English Sparkling Wine

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This english sparkling wine has a lovely light, fresh feel with touches of yellow apple, pastry, lemon and cobnuts. It is a splendid refreshing aperitif and ideal for sipping with friends, although it does have enough weight to partner oysters or whitebait, or tempura seafood.

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Greyfriars is located on the sunny south facing chalk slopes of the Hog’s Back at Puttenham, just outside Guildford in Surrey. Anyone who has driven west from Guildford along the Hog’s Back will realise just how steep the south facing slope is and how this will afford protection against frost, help with drainage and thirdly improve insolation. In addition, the chalk subsoil help with water management and warmth.

The original vineyards were planted back in 1989, so Greyfriars was one of the second wave of English vineyards and would have witnessed the gradual but steady warming climate and the more consistent ripening of the Champagne varieties which they planted. It must be noted that in 1989 many growers were still looking to plant various crosses and hybrids with the intention of making dry/off dry semi aromatic white wines. The quality of the harvested Champagne varieties proved to be very high and more wines were planted in the following years.
The current owners, the Wagstaffs, took over in 2010 and have extended the vineyard, 70,000 vines were planted. Today, it covers around 50 acres on three different sites. The vines till include Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay for sparkling wine but in the same style of adventure and experimentation two other varieties, grown for still wine production have been planted; Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. We have seen many successful wines made from Pinot Gris but this was the first really classy Sauvignon Blanc we have witnessed in the UK.
A wide range of wines are produced from their own state of the art winery and Mike Wagstaff is the chief winemaker, a very different role from his time working in the oil and gas industry. The wines are all well-made, finely balanced and have a feel for precision. We have selected two wines from this estate.

The Non-Vintage Cuvée is a bland of the usual Classic Method varieties, 60% Chardonnay. 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, and a blend of 3 vintages, the 2014, 2015 and 2016.



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