Tamlyn Currin on 'England's Côte d'Or'

All made by Itasca Wines, Tamlyn Currin has written notes on the 2021 Missing Gate Bacchus, Sauvignon Blanc and 2020 Pinot Blanc. Her piece focuses on Crouch Valley, naming it ‘England’s Côte d’Or’.

Missing Gate Pinot Blanc 2020 England

Full bottle 1,297 g. Grapes grown at Missing Gate Vineyard, Crouch Valley, Essex. Made by Ben Smith of Itasca. 450 bottles made.

Beautifully ripe peach fruit with sweet orange citrus; a great sweep of fruit, lime lines, bay leaf aromatic and beautiful texture. Tinged with oak: hazelnuts and walnuts tossed in brown butter, faint fingerprints of caramelisation smudging the pear-and-apple whiteness of the fruit. Chalkiness dusted into the texture of the wine. Long with a fine mineral spine. Mouth-watering length and finish. Does the future of English Pinot Blanc lie in the Crouch Valley? (TC)


Missing Gate Sauvignon Blanc 2021 England

Full bottle 1,284 g. Fruit grown at Missing Gate Vineyard in Crouch Valley, Essex. 100% fermented in fourth-fill 228-litre barrels and 500-litre puncheon, 40% malo. Wine made by Ben Smith of Itasca Wines.

Quite a pungent passion-fruit nose. I was a bit tentative about the idea of English Sauvignon Blanc. It can be such a screechy variety. Add to that nails-on-a-chalkboard English acidity and the potential for a whole new instrument of torture starts to look pretty high. But this is superb. Mineral, dry, fragrant. The acidity is full but not strident, fanning out with varietal confidence. The wine strikes a great balance between

Sauvignon’s green grassiness and cheerfully loud, chiselled, clearly expressed citrus fruit.

Truly dry (in the way that many SBs are not) and gracefully refreshing with a flinty, very slightly smoky spine. Perfectly integrated. Between Missing Gate grapes, Duncan McNeill and Ben Smith, chapeau! I must add that, like the MG Bacchus, don’t drink this too cold.

It needs the space and energy of higher temperatures to express itself. (TC)


Missing Gate Bacchus 2021 England

Full bottle 1,298 g. Bacchus grown on the clay slopes of Missing Gate Vineyard in the Crouch Valley, Essex. Viticulturist Duncan McNeil, winemaker Ben Smith (at Itasca).


Floral (but not elderflower) nose. Importantly, not a Bacchus to serve too cold. The fruit on this is beautiful, but delicate, and easily lost if the wine is served fridge cold. I’d aim for around 10 or even 12 °C. Bergamot fragrance breathing through the nose and palate of the wine. Green-gold fruit, sliced sorrel and silvery. Not too herbaceous, and the acidity has a satin-steel feel, avoiding the all-too-common rasp that Bacchus is capable of. Very subtle notes of tarragon and fennel seed. Good length. I’d actually keep this back for a year, as I think – from having tasted quite a number of Bacchus wines in the last couple of weeks – that it would benefit from a bit of time in bottle. (TC)


Read the full article here: https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/crouch-valley-englands-cote-dor
31 October 2022