From a 4.5 hectare, limestone bedded vineyard in Hampshire’s South Downs Hills, Raimes is the latest multi-award winning fizz from my local wine region. It is priced like it has been given a platinum gong by Bacchus himself! However, as I saved up to buy this to celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of The Editor moving to England and, to a far lesser extent, us moving to the variably good wine region of Hampshire, cost is no object!
This is made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meurnier grown and harvested in the Raimes family’s vineyard, before being shipped off to Hattingly Valley’s winery to be vinified and aged. We have tried some Hattingly valley wines and they are pretty good. If there is one thing you can say about it, the bottle and labeling are painfully cool.
Raimes Blanc des Noirs 2013, Raimes Family/Hattingly Valley
Just as I have popped this, and toasted The Editor’s brilliant moved 16 years ago, the nose seems pretty neutral, no lovely, scented red fruits at all. It is quite cold though so I shall give it a good chew around my mouth whilst the blighter warms up.
Bloody hell, it is pretty rough and bitter. Whoever gave this an award must be a big fan of cheap supermarket Champagne. Lawks, it is so harsh, this is no fun at all!
So I will get back to warming this…
Warming… Warming… Warning…
And there it is! It stinks of pear drops – the classic sign of trying to hide inferior fruit by fermenting it so cold it is hard not to believe it was a Blanc des Noirs lollypop at some point.
It is harsh, bitter and smells of pear drops, how in heaven’s name is this worthy of any award other than ‘Wine best suited to laying down and avoiding’. I feel cheated and slightly ill.
If you want to try the beautiful, elegant terrior of Hampshire get yourself a (much cheaper) bottle of Exton Park. Avoid this noisome bottle of vastly overpriced cheap supermarket Champagne.