Lyme Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a single vineyard English white wine made from grapes sourced from the Missing Gate vineyard in the Crouch Valley, Essex. The Crouch Valley really seems to be developing into a hotspot for English grape production.
The Lyme bay Winery was founded by Nigel Howard and has made its name over the years for the production of a wide range of fruit wine, ciders, meads and liqueurs from their base in the Axe Valley in Devon. Whilst they still produce a wide range of these products, Lyme Bay Winery planted 26,000 vines in 2009 and 2010 within a stone’s throw of the winery and have since branched out with a good range of still and sparkling English wines. As well as farming their own vines, they also buy grapes from other grape growers in the South of England and argue that “truly special wines are born from grapes with diverse backgrounds.” Lyme Bay work with group of outstanding growers with vineyards all over England who plant the right grapes for the climate they are in to obtain the best ripeness for wine production.
As mentioned above, grapes for the this wine come from the Missing Gate Vineyard. This is a 18 acre vineyard owned by the Speakman family. All 18,000 of their vines are rooted into steep clay hills rolling down towards Woodham Ferrers and the River Crouch beyond.
A small parcel of grapes (0.75 tonnes) was identified from an intensely ripe parcel of fruit from Missing Gate Vineyard which were harvested on 30th September 2020. A beautiful, long, hot summer in 2020 enabled the grapes to fully ripen on the vine, allowing them to achieve high levels of physiological maturity. The juice was fermented with thiol enhancing yeasts to maximise the aromatics in the wine. Finally the wine was matured in old oak barrels for 6 months with occasional bâtonnage- the stirring of the lees- to add complexity and mouthfeel. No chaptalisation was required.
Less then 500 bottles produced.
From Lyme Bay Winery:
Tasting: Pale lemon in colour, unfined and unfiltered to preserve the complexity and intensity of fruit.
Nose: Heady sauvignon notes with complex notes of tropical fruit, freshly cut straw, citrus, and boxwood.
Palate: Ripeness of fruit combines with balanced acidity and rich complexity to give a unique Sauvignon style with tropical fruit, summer grass, bell pepper, gooseberry & a zesty lime acidity resulting in a rich depth and lingering, mouth-watering finish.