A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2019 vintage, a relatively cool year compared to 2018, which has given a deliciously fresh style. ‘Preamble’ is relatively late harvested
compared to some wines, so there is a plenty of ripeness here: ripe apple, nectarine and even some tropical fruit; on the full palate, a hint of vanilla and honey from the oak-ageing, plus a long, juicy finish and fine mousse. Yum!
Founded by Stephen and Fiona Duckett in 2013, Hundred Hills is a very exciting producer who are based in Oxfordshire, in the Stonor Valley (between Oxford and Henley-on-Thames). They have 20 hectares of vines here (50 acres approximately) of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, which lie on the particularly sheltered, sloping chalk soils of the valley. This sheltered position, in particular, allows for the grapes to ripen slowly and gradually, late into the season (often inclement weather in the U.K.’s Autumn season means that exposed sites have to be harvested earlier, in a hurry, when the grapes may not have achieved full ripeness). The result is a selection of wines that have lots of delicious ripeness, a fairly fullbodied style, without sacrificing the trademark freshness of good English Sparkling. They are all ‘Vintage’ wines, ie the product of a sole vintage (rather than a blend of many) and aged in part in traditional oak casks which gives a lovely complexity to the style. Expect great things from this producer.