It seems there’s a celebration for everything these days but one we are definitely a fan of is International Chardonnay Day, which falls on the Thursday before the last Monday in May each year.
A green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine, Chardonnay takes its name from the village of Chardonnay in the Mâcon region of Burgundy in Eastern France and is now grown in pretty much every wine producing region in the world. Known as ‘the winemaker’s grape’ thanks to its neutral fruit profile and adaptable nature, English still wine Chardonnay is nonetheless something of a rarity but is something that we are proud to produce here at Lyme Bay Winery.
“The Chardonnay grape is recognised around the world for its high quality and versatility, so we were keen to show what we could do with this noblest of grapes”, says Lyme Bay head winemaker and managing director James Lambert, announcing the Winery’s latest 2020 vintage.
Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2020
Following on from our acclaimed 2018, then 2017 (yes, in that order) releases, our Chardonnay 2020 is a blend of aromatic and non-aromatic chardonnay fruit sourced from a collection of growers in Essex where the beautiful, long, hot summer of 2020 enabled the grapes to fully ripen on the vine, resulting in intensity of flavour and body before they were harvested between 8-20th October 2020.
Fermented in a mixture of stainless steel and oak at cool temperatures using selected Burgundy yeast strains to enhance complexity, stone fruit, floral characters and minerality, post fermentation there was full malolactic fermentation and extended fine lees ageing with some bâtonnage to accentuate the natural weight and ripe fruit.
“As an experienced producer we consider each harvest in relation to how the growing season will influence the wine”, says James. “Our focus is to ensure each wine has structure and delivers in terms of flavour and varietal character, and as a result, we release each wine when we believe it is ready and most likely to delight discerning drinkers.
A truly English Chardonnay
“We are able to do this because we work with a small group of growers who share our interest in nurturing selected still wine clones”, adds James, “an approach that is perhaps unique amongst English producers. We started off with the best grapes we could find and have created a truly English Chardonnay with exceptional depth of character.”
The result is our elegant WineGB gold medalaward winning 2020 Vintage Chardonnay combining notes of creamy apples and stone fruit with subtle creaminess of oak. A crisp and complex framework makes this wine an excellent match with food, and it also has the structure to support extended ageing, with a recommended drinking window of 2022 – 2028.
It was recently awarded Silver medals in the both the International Wine Challenge and International Wine and Spirits awards too! The judges comments are as follows:
IWC: “Lifted peach and vanilla, strong Granny Smith apple and hints of warm spice, lively and delicate finish.”
IWSC: “Flinty with hints of struck match on the nose giving way to a softer palate of toast and spice. This wine boasts a particularly pleasant mouthfeel and a long finish.”
Try it for yourself here
Visit our shop or order online
You can find our Chardonnay 2020 as well as a whole host of our other award-winning tipples in our wonderful Winery shop so do pop in if you are passing. You can also get in touch with our friendly team via email at [email protected] or by calling us on 01297 551355 if you’d like to order by phone, and if you order by 2pm we endeavour to deliver within the next two working days – with free delivery for all orders over £45.
In the meantime do stay in touch with us via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you love English still and sparkling wines but aren’t sure where to start you can discover more in our Quick Guide to English Wine.