Winners of Sparkling Wine of the Year - Langham Wine Estate
As the UK begins on its journey out of lockdown, our thoughts turn towards the promise of long summer days in the garden with friends, sharing meals and reconnecting with loved ones. Barbury Hill’s handpicked selection of food and drink has been chosen with sharing in mind, whether with guests around the table or as a gift to be delivered to friends and family. One independent producer that’s sure to be a fixture on our table this summer is Langham Wine Estate, an IWSC award-winning vineyard in Dorset.
While Langham has grown into an award-winning producer, it started life on a more modest scale, with a vineyard planted by John Langham as more of a hobby than a business. In 2009, his son, Justin, decided to develop his father’s initial work and planted 30 acres at Crawthorne Farm, just a few miles from the original vineyard. The site’s south-facing aspect, unique microclimate and chalk soils proved a winning combination, with natural shelter provided by established hedgerows and trees. In keeping with many of Barbury Hill’s partners, they maintain a low-intervention approach, with the hedgerows promoting organisms that naturally reduce diseases and careful canopy management allowing them to reduce the use of chemicals. The grapes are picked by hand, and then travel just a few metres to the old barn where temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and used French barriques provide the tools to create Langham’s award-winning wines.
It is this attention to detail, the consideration for the vineyard’s biodiversity, and the care taken in the production process, that have made Langham Estate into the award-winning producer it is today. Their five medals at the 2020 International Wine and Spirit Competition confirmed their spot as one of the finest English wine producers, with sparkling wines to rival those from more established vineyards across the Channel.
Of course this is no coincidence - the site was carefully chosen to support classic champagne varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and Barbury Hill is proud to feature a carefully selected range. For a special occasion, the Blanc de Blanc 2015 was a Gold award-winner at the IWSC Awards in 2020, and justifiably so. Barbury Hill was left (almost) speechless when we tasted this classic English Sparkling wine. The golden hue and fine bubbles gave a hint of the quality to come, but it was the intense nose of toasted brown bread and honeyed spice that won us over, followed by the crisp apple and cut grass that make it perfect for a celebratory summer’s day.
A Silver award-winner at the 2020 Sommelier Wine awards, the Corallian Classic Cuvée NV is another favourite. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this classic sparkling boasts aromas of apple, cut grass, hay and pear, with notes of orchard fruits and lemon that lend a citrus acidity balanced by a palate of fine mousse. For a summer’s garden party we’d recommend the Dorset Rosé, the vineyard’s first still wine. A fruity blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a hint of strawberry and red apple that leads to a creamy and refreshing finish, this one has us dreaming of lazy afternoons with a good book and a comfortable deckchair.
While 2020 may not have given us much cause for celebration, with hope on the horizon in 2021 there’s no better time to pop some Langham Estate on ice, lay the table for friends and family, and enjoy the joyous conviviality of sharing food and wine with loved ones.
by Dan Smith, Barbury Hill Founder
Dan founded Barbury Hill and he is the man behind our mission to shine a light on the best of British food and drink. He loves wine, cider and small batch cheese. And every producer on Barbury Hill.