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  • Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
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  • Great Wine Tours of the World
    Great Wine Tours of the World
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  • De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
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  • Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    by LINDA JOHNSON-BELL

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Saturday
Feb232013

Hush Heath, Kent

HUSH HEATH ...


If you are ever in doubt as to why Kent is called “The Garden of England”, visit Hush Heath. We were transported into one of those picture-perfect images on a biscuit tin. Our magical tour was led by the winemakers Owen Elias and Victoria Ash, Rupert Taylor, the Sales Manager, as well as the owner, Richard Balfour-Lynn.

 

 

The estate is absolutely stunning: apple tree orchards, manicured Italian gardens, vineyards, oast houses … all wrapped up in a violently lush landscape of wisteria and roses. Balfour-Lynn is clear that his sole objective is to produce an English Pink Sparkling Wine to rival the finest Champagne, and this he does. It is a small and private production: No winery visits, no gift shops or tea rooms: just his wine … Balfour.

He rightly repeats the fact that Kent is a fruit-growing region, and adds that the New World cannot make sparkling wines properly: it is too hot. Whereas, our climate provides the crucial acidity. But, he feels that Champagne has done a lot to tarnish their image and wishes to distinguish the English sparkling wines: our acidity is different to that of France’s. His award-winning sparkling wine is thus a non-malolactic wine, left sur lies for 18 months and it is all about the acidity. His wines are young and fresh as he combines the best of the Old World with the New. He revels in the climatic diversity served up by Mother Nature, as he wishes to avoid homogenous, “reliable” wines.

 

2010 Nannette’s Chardonnay
I know that he said that he only does the Balfour, and when I visited, this was the case. He allowed us to taste this Chardonnay, which at the time was not commercialised, as he wishes to keep production restrained. But I have seen that it is now available to buy on the web-site, so you must do so.

The wine has a lovely nose. You can smell the extracts: unfiltered, rustic, meaty extracts that give this wine a complex structure yet at the same time, a refined expression. Chardonnay, so often bastardised around the globe, takes on an elegantly individual hue, here, in this garden of Kent.


2010 Balfour Brut Rosé

75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Lovely nose, perfumes of rosemary and spices, leading to a fruity, rose petal palate with firm, persistent mousse and a clean, acidic and fresh finish. Delicious.

Richard Balfour-Lynn

Hush Heath

Five Oak Lane

Junction of Snoad Lane

Marden, Kent

TN12 0HX

Tel: 01622 832 794

winery@hushheath.com

 

 

 

 

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