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Danbury Ridge Pinot Noir 2020

Mix 12
Mix 6
Per Bottle
Available from: Thu 28th Sep 2023
Description & Technical Information
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 Pinot Noir producer.

Vinification: After handpicking and sorting, the fruit was gently destemmed without crushing to maintain whole berries. The grapes were then gravity-fed into open-top oak fermenters for 3 to 5 days cold soak. Temperatures were allowed to increase naturally, and the cap received just one to two punch downs per day. Some vats also received extended skin maceration. The wine was transferred to French oak barrels for MLF, battonage and 10 months ageing, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The Vineyards: Fruit for the 2020 Pinot Noir was carefully selected from across the Danbury Ridge estate. Despite their close proximity, the three estate vineyards display a rich and varied geology with individual mesoclimates. Glaciofluvial deposits of sandy gravel dominate the easterly Polo Field while loamy, carbonate rich clay of the estate’s Sleipnir Block reins exclusively to the west.

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, this 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% Pinot Noir
pH: 3.5
TA: 5.3g/L
ABV: 13%
Production: 4573 Bottles
Drink: Now to 2030

Tasting Note: An expressive bouquet of ripe fruits, orange blossom and forest floor are beautifully showcased in this Pinot Noir. There is an elegance that lends itself to the palate with fresh acidity, plush, velvety tannins and a long lasting finish.

Danbury Ridge Overview
Expert Reviews
Jancis Robinson MW
“Intense and brooding nose. Much edgier than the 2021, though arguably more burgundian. Quite a bit of tannin in evidence. Pretty serious and it will probably last longer than the 2021. Meat-and-veg sensation in this complex wine. Dry finish. Winemaker Liam Idzikowski thinks this is like the Octagon 2018…”
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