The English Bubble – Review of Hundred Hills Hillside No.3 and Hundred Hills Blanc de Noirs 2019 with Founder Stephen Duckett

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Today on The English Bubble with Hundred Hills Founder Stephen Duckett and Nick Baker; Hundred Hills Hillside No.3 and Hundred Hills Blanc de Noirs 2019.

From the outset Hundred Hills have chosen to produce low yielding, high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and have focused hard to create outstanding chalk valley vineyards, where grapes can slowly grow and ripen on the vine every year for more than the magical hundred days. From the wooded chalk valleys of Hundred Hills emerge clean, clear wines that truly reflect a sense of time and place in the way the very best Burgundies seek to do.

The 2019 vintage was in many ways perhaps the most perfect yet for Hundred Hills. The season began early, with shoots well developed by the start of May, and summer saw some of the highest temperatures seen to date in the vineyards. Then a long, cool and dry autumn allowed the grapes to fully ripen whilst retaining perfect levels of acidity at harvest.

Hundred Hills Hillside No.3 was a very late harvested ‘third pass’ selection of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from right across the south-facing vineyard parcels. Only made in small quantities this wine reveals a luxuriant complexity from a beautiful, long, and cool ripening vintage.

Crafted from a single parcel of south facing Pinot Noir harvested late in the season, this is the first Blanc de Noirs released by Hundred Hills. The long, dry 2019 vintage allowed grapes to be harvested with over 110 days on the vine.

Jancis Robinson MW Hillside No.3 2019
“Very late (third?) pick of the ripest grapes from across the estate: 65% Pinot Noir clones 115 and 870 from their most distant plot and 35% Chardonnay, partially from what they call the amphitheatre. Much cooler year, but it was dry so they could wait to pick until the very end of October. Full malo.
Much more recognisably champagne-like than the Preambles. Really sophisticated. Good grip on the palate and a dry but not drying finish. Long. Good mousse. Much more approachable than the Preamble 2016!”
Jancis Robinson MW Blanc de Noirs 2019
“From a single parcel of Pinot Noir, 870 clone. This is their only Blanc de Noirs and apparently this style works better in cooler vintages. No oak. Very small quantity produced. To be released late 2022. This could actually be sold as a (very pale) rosé. Fairly rich nose. Really mouth-filling. Round and orangey and super-clean. Complete. Very much a gastro-wine. Just lovely already and reaches every nook and cranny on the palate.”
Click here to read about our visit to Hundred hills