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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Danbury Ridge Chardonnay Octagon Block 2020

Danbury Ridge Chardonnay Octagon Block 2020

Mix 12
£60.00
Mix 6
£62.00
Per Bottle
£64.00
Danbury Ridge Chardonnay Octagon Block 2020
Same Day - cost based on mileage from Islington
Available Tue 23rd Apr
Available today: 9 × 75cl
Available Thu 25th Apr: 93 × 75cl
- Time Left to Order
DHL Next Working Day from £10.44
Deliver Wed 24th Apr
Available Wed 24th Apr: 9 × 75cl
Available Fri 26th Apr: 93 × 75cl
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Danbury Ridge Chardonnay Octagon Block 2020 Overview

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Danbury Ridge was founded by two generations of the Bunker family: Michael and Heather Bunker and, their daughters Janine and Sophie. While walking with friends on the estate it was suggested that some of the agricultural land owned by the Bunker family may prove an ideal location for growing vines. The fields had long been scorned by local farmers for being lean and arid - a good training ground for racehorses over wet winters, but far from ideal for summer cereal crops. A detailed feasibility study was undertaken, and the conclusions formed the outline of a plan that the family expanded upon over the following years. The first vines were planted in 2014 with a focus on identifying Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones which could best exploit the unique mesoclimate. After just a few seasons the vines were producing grapes of a quality and ripeness previously unseen in the UK; surely England's finest still Chardonnay producer.

Vineyard: The Octagon Block is the most established vineyard on the estate with an eclectic soil profile. Spanning over 12 acres, most of the vines sit on glaciofluvial sediments of sandy gravel, known as Danbury Gravel, that accumulated during the last Ice Age, and clay outcrops at the lower, southern end. Clay is renowned for producing powerful wines and gravel pulls in the opposite direction. Planted at low density, the Octagon Block has proven itself capable of producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that are exceptionally rich and complex.

Vinification: Fruit was handpicked and whole bunch pressed. After little or no settling the juice was transferred to 228L Burgundian oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was then left on gross lees for 18 months, where malolactic fermentation took place without battonage. The wine received another 12 months elevage before release without any fining.

Weather: The 2020 vintage was the second harvest at the Danbury Ridge winery and was one of many extremes. The growing season began with a high frequency of frost events in April, where potential damage was carefully mitigated by Vineyard Management. Despite these cold night-time temperatures, very warm, dry, sunny daytime conditions resulted in the earliest veraison seen in the region in the past decade. Record levels of ripening were achieved as the start of September experienced a late summer heatwave before rain arrived, replenishing soil nutrients and producing healthy, vigorous vines. For the Pinot Noir, his cooler weather and rain that followed allowed the clusters to develop complex flavours whilst maintaining acidity. The quality of the Chardonnay was exceptional, and the resulting wines are once again full of flavour and vibrancy.

Technical Information:
Region: Crouch Valley, Essex
Sub Region: Danbury
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
pH: 3.2
TA: 7.1g/L
ABV: 13.5%
Production: 1708 Bottles
Drink: Now to 2030

Tasting Note: Pale Gold. Honeysuckle and poached pear. Gently toasted oak. Voluminous, silky mouthfeel. Finishing long. Mineral, with an intense clementine lift.
Danbury Ridge History
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Expert Reviews
17+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Just bottled before the 2022 harvest. To be released in 2023.
A bit richer on the nose than the regular Chardonnay but very much a relative of it. Lemon and pineapple nose. Real grip here. A bit denser and more complex. But it’s not there yet. Lots going on underneath.”
16.5++/20
Richard Hemming MW
“Creamy on the nose. After a shy nose, there is lovely clarity of fruit on the palate, with understated but well-balanced apple and lemon. Very little overt oak spice, but there's a leesiness to it that is satisfying, and plenty of core fruit that should open up. It has an autolytic note that is not dissimilar to sparkling Blanc de Blancs. Impressive persistence and lovely fresh structure with acid that isn't intrusive.”
91/100
Neal Martin
“The 2020 Chardonnay Octogan Vineyard comes from a season when July saw ten days above 35°C before it rained with 100mm at the end of September. It has a lucid color in the glass, still youthful. It's well-defined on the nose, with hints of lemon curd and that leitmotif of Clementine. Crushed stone hints emerge with time. The palate is wonderful, a silver bead of acidity that cuts through the pithy yellow fruit mixed with pear and a trace of peach skin. The finish has good weight with just a dab of spice and a hint of lees on the aftertaste. Excellent. ”
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