Widley regarded as one of the most exciting wine estates in the UK, Hundred Hills is a relative newcomer to the English sparkling wine revolution and yet its six wines are already making serious waves. The winery itself, nestled as it is in the Chilterns, has been rated by Jancis Robinson MW as one of the top English wineries,
When Hundred Hills owner Stephen Duckett and his wife Fiona started looking in 2009 for a property that was suitable for the production of English sparkling wine, they searched the length and breadth of southern England. Their exhaustive quest finally ended in the beautiful Stonor Valley, a few miles north of Henley, in the most quintessential of English rural settings: at Bank Farm, nestled down country lanes, flanked by woodland and situated close to the historic Grade 1 listed Stonor Park
Attention to detail is the mantra of Duckett, who gained a first in engineering from Oxford University in 1990, that won him a scholarship to Harvard Business School, after which he spent the next two decades helping to establish a number of young software companies
As a farmer’s son from Somerset, though, Duckett missed the land, and thanks to an obsession with finding the best place to make wine, he researched over 50 sites over three years in Kent, Sussex and Dorset before his focus centred on the Chilterns.
With consultation from the great Micheal Salgues, the man responsible for setting up Louis Roederer's Californian operation, Quartet, and a professor of enology at the university of Montpellier, they planted a host of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones. From day one, the vineyards and been farmed organically, and today both the vineyards and winery are carbon neutral.
With a soft, luxuriant mousse, the stone fruits on the palate of the 2018 are beautifully ripe with an underlying, bright mouth-watering acidity and hints of almond patisserie. The chalky texture of this wine is almost satiny, leading to a long, persistent finish that captures a zesty, creamy tangerine note. This is a wine that captures in the glass all of the complex flavours and aromas we seek in the vineyard on the final days of harvest.