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Beautifully ripe, with aromas of lime, peach and pear and a hint of the textbook elderflower flavour of the bacchus grape. This is really smart stuff from Cornwall.
Product Code: QVT-EN1471
View all products by Camel Valley Vineyard
This estate has become practically unrivalled in its success, winning big at the International Wine Challenge, Decanter World Wine awards and many more. It has even been awarded a gong for outstanding service to tourism by Cornwall’s tourism board.Ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie planted their first vines back in 1989. They had initially relocated to the Cornish countryside several years earlier, wishing to escape from the service lifestyle and bring up a young family, and they began farming sheep and cattle.Their farm is on the sun-drenched slopes of the Camel Valley, not far from the famous Camel River, and as the summers went by Bob and Annie began to wonder whether vines might enjoy this idyllic aspect. They both took viticulture courses and began reading every wine and vine book they could find, and Bob did a vintage in Germany to ready them for their first year. They built their winery, and picked their first harvest with help only from a few friends, leaving Bob to work through the night pressing the grapes by himself.When their first wine won a medal in the national English wine competition, they knew they were doing something right. Since then, they’ve created a state-of-the art winery, employed a small staff and won awards at national and international levels year on year, notably Waitrose Drinks Producer of the Year in 2002 and then a gold medal in the 2005 IWC for their sparkling wine – the first sparkling wine in Cornwall.The farm’s mild climate and the suntrap provided by its steep, sloping vineyards conspire to imbue their wines with a delicious balance between fullness and freshness. The main grapes grown are typical of English vineyards – seyval blanc, bacchus, triomphe, reichensteiner, dornfelder and pinot noir – and 20% of production is given to red wines.Their second generation has already begun, as their son Sam took over as winemaker in 2005, having abandoned a finance career when he realised his heart really lay in the Cornish countryside. He has added to the estate’s string of awards, and won UK Winemaker of the Year in 2007. The experience he gained working at a winery in New Zealand has influenced Camel Valley’s production methods, including a keener focus on cool-temperature fermentation, and an even greater attention to detail.The majority of their stocks are snapped up by local retailers and restaurants, including the likes of Rick Stein’s restaurant, but they now export their wines as far as Japan.
Thanks to a combination of warmer, drier summers, better understanding of soils and micro-climates, and heavy and intelligent investment in vineyards and wineries, English and Welsh wines are now better than ever.There are now more than 500 vineyards planted totaling over 2,000 hectares, with a 75% increase in the last six years alone. Because of our northerly latitude and maritime island climate, site selection is crucial. Not surprisingly, the majority of vineyards are found in the English southern counties of Sussex, Kent, Gloucester and Hampshire though there are some found as far north as Yorkshire.Styles of wineEnglish and Welsh wine producers as a whole continue to make major improvements to their wines, but it is the producers of premium sparkling wines which have received the most accolades in recent years, blazing a trail for the industry as a whole to be given the serious attention it deserves.Sparkling wine - This is a major growth area for the UK with our climate well-suited to the production of sparkling wine which accounts for 66% of total output. But it is the premium, bottle-fermented wines that have made the rest of the world sit up and take notice. Sussex and the South Downs are perfect for growing the classic mix of Champagne grapes, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The South Downs are actually on the same geological formation (limestone on top of a sandstone belt) that continues down through the east of France to Champagne. However, this type of soil is not everything and many vines for top bubbly made over here are grown on very different, often clay-based soils quite different from the Champagne-like calcareous formation, and our climatic conditions seem to be just as important, if not more so.The best sparkling wines give the Champenois a good run for their money and are better than many Champagnes. We currently buy top-quality premium sparklers from Nyetimber in West Sussex, who with 400 acres are the largest producer of the style in the UK, and Ridgeview in Ditchling Common, Sussex.Dry white - Reflecting changing tastes, wines made here are increasingly made on the drier side, helped along by warmer summers and improved techniques in vineyard and winery. Still dry white wines show a natural acidity and crispness in their youth. They tend to have a certain nettley, hedgerow freshness about them that is peculiarly English and most attractive. Such wines now represent 24% of all English wine production, Still Rosé & red - This is style that is also increasing in popularity and one at which the UK can excel, rosé again shows well in its youth, often with attractive strawberry aromas and just a hint of sweetness to balance out the acidity. Reds are a minority as they tend to sometimes lack the necessary ripeness to allow them to show at their best unless our summer and autumn weather is particularly benign. Advances are being made here too though, as producers experiment with different varieties and vineyard sites to find which ripen best where. Front-runners are dornfelder, rondo and pinot noir but at the moment, none has impressed sufficiently and prices are rather high so we have not yet selected any to offer to members.Wine labelling - English and Welsh wines are produced and labelled under a Quality Wine Scheme which was established in 1992. They are classified in ascending order as table wine, regional wine or quality wine.Grape guideFaced with a blank canvas, what vines should a grower on these islands plant? Many of the varieties planted have German origins, partly because it was originally German-trained winemakers who helped UK growers with advice and expertise. It was also felt that these varieties would have better success in such a northerly latitude and, in the 1970s, when there was a resurgence of wine growing in this country, German wines were in their heyday. It is vital to choose early-ripening varieties with good resistance to fungal disease; many of those that have had success are in fact hybrids, again developed in Germany.Today, there is a patchwork of a multitude of different varieties found in the vineyards of England and Wales. With one or two notable exceptions, these are generally blended together to create wines with a real point of interest and difference from those found elsewhere in Europe. As many of the grapes will be unfamiliar to members and because they rarely appear on their own, so may be difficult to get to know, we provide the principal characteristics below.More recently, and line with the success of sparkling wines on these shores, pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier have been planted extensively and continue to be so.
After the nigh-perfect 2018 vintage, England has had a hard act to follow with 2019! Indeed, by all other standards, 2019 was a very good vintage for England, but this is perhaps skewed by the fact that 2018 lifted the bar so high. 2019 has produced ripe, juicy and more classically English wines than the 2018s, which were fuller on the mid-palate and perhaps rounder. 2019 is likely to be a better vintage for sparkling than 2018 as acidity is key for top fizz and these will likely age better in the long term.
"Much too syrupy for me. Tasted like elderflower cordial or non alcoholic wine than the wines it is compared to on the wine society site: Picpoul, Rioja, Viognier-Marsanne. "
mailplus.co.uk 19th Mar 2020
"It's a stunning glass.If you're after a turbocharge of sheer invigoration and refreshment, this is the wine for you. It smells of exotic elderflower and tastes like a frozen crunchy gooseberry. I can't get enough of English wine! - Olly Smith"
"Pleasant primary flavours, lime, citrus, blossoms, fresh cut grass. Balanced but a little too acidic to my liking, medium flavour intensity, low complexity, medium length. Good."
Mr Valentin Servel (11-Feb-2020)
"Lovely lemon sherbert spritziness, very more-ish and delightful to drink. We cycled the Camel Trail this summer, past this vineyard and the wine is as lovely as its surroundings. Not a bad alcohol % for an English wine either. If ONLY English wines could produce the quantity and quality at a better price we would be world beaters. PS Disagree with the critics reviews about the full elderflower flavour - for that go to 3 Choirs Payford Bridge (discontinued? as I cannot leave a review for that from a very recent mixed case I bought - that is the perfect English wedding wine - low alcohol, but the fragrance of England in spring - mayflower, gooseberry and elderflower in abundance)."
Mrs Heather Carr (27-Dec-2019)
Suffolk & Norfolk Life (1st Oct 2019)
alternative to New Zealand sauvignon blanc is grown on our very own shores! The
grape variety bacchus can produce wonderfully aromatic and pronounced crisp
white wines that smell just like the English countryside. This example from
Cornwall's finest Camel Valley is packed full of juicy citrus and tropical
fruit flavours. Try this with a selection of English goat and sheep cheeses and
prepare to be blown away. - Alex Layton"
Rotherham Advertiser (28th Aug 2019)
"South of England is
ideal for the Bacchus grape. This has lime, peach, pear and elderflower. - David Clay"
The Guardian (20th Aug 2019)
"Whether you’re in
Sussex, Essex, Kent or Cornwall, a trip to a local winery can be part of a
traditional English seaside holiday. Camel Valley’s tour scores high for
natural beauty and the quality of wines, such as this fragrant sauvignon-esque
white. - David Williams"
Decanter (5th Aug 2019)
"Energetic and engaging, tangy, full, lemony and long.
A lovely example of what bacchus can achieve. - Susie Barrie MW"
JancisRobinson.com (25th Jul 2019)
In the leafy and nutty style, with some fresh pea and green apple. Racy and
lively palate, with enough apple fruit to balance the flintiness. This works as
a whole. Good value. - Tim Jackson"
Rotherham Advertiser (16th Jul 2019)
"The South of England
is ideal for the bacchus grape. This has lime, peach, pear and elderflower. - David Clay"
decanter.com (1st Jul 2019)
"Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 Gold Medal: Loads of
fresh hedgerow cuttings, with ripe citrus and a steely, glossy edge. Very pure
and clean, with a Sancerre-like minerality, backed by restrained vegetal and
green fruit. "
Sunday Telegraph (26th May 2019)
"This week gaining a
Decanter World Wine Awards gold, Camel’s bacchus from hot 2018 is less grassy
than usual, instead majoring on tangy lemon, lime and melon. If you like French
sauv blanc, try this. - Susy Atkins"
"Clean, dry, fruity and easy to drink as an aperitif or with light food. We've enjoyed this and will be buying a case. Recommended!"
Mr Robert J O'Neill (29-Jan-2019)
"English winemakers have a problem competing on price so it's important that they provide some special character to justify the extra outlay - unfortunately this doesn't quite do it. Yes, it has crisp citrus fruit but so has sucking a lemon. Where is the charming floral character of some English wine, the warm aroma of a summer meadow? This has more of the frosty bite of an autumn morning."
Mr John Lavis (22-Dec-2018)
"For me didn't justify the price. Very Pinot tasting, dry but bland, no strong flavours came to mind. I'm a big NZ Sauvignon fan though so to me this seemed like the other end of the spectrum. Dry, benign, nothing happening. Another premium UK wine but felt obliged to support one of our own. Will continue to buy from experts further afield in future and buy with my head and not my heart."
Mr Greig P Godfrey (01-Nov-2018)
The Times (26th Jul 2018)
"Camel Valley makes
some glorious, lime and elderflower-scented bacchus, just like this one. - Jane MacQuitty"
rosemurraybrown.com (27th May 2018)
"Bacchus is gaining
popularity amongst English growers. Created in 1933, this Cornish bacchus
is typically grapefruity, delicate with sharp citric flavours. Made by ex-RAF
pilot Bob Lindo with wife Annie and son Sam, who bought an old sheep farm with
south facing slopes close to Bodmin Moor in the 1980’s and converted it into
one of the UK’s best still and fizz estates winning the Royal Warrant this
year. - Rose Murray Brown"
The Times (26th May 2018)
"… a lime and
elderflower-scented joy. - Jane MacQuitty"
Times of Tunbridge Wells (18th Apr 2018)
"This light and
pungent Sauvignon Blanc-like dry white has notes of elderflower, nettles,
grapefruit and hedgerow. Cool, citrusy Cornish acidity gives persistence,
ensuring the finish is as fresh as a spring day. It all adds up to a dandy wine
that’s ideal to chill down and enjoy as a perky aperitif. Also pour it for
oysters, trout and chlorophyll-rich green asparagus spears (remember St
George’s Day traditionally marks the start of the short British asparagus
season). Great stuff. - James Viner"
"In the past, I've not always been impressed by Bacchus offerings, but this is wonderful. The nose is herby, grassy perhaps; the palate quite different, fruity, but light, with good acidity. I have always been a fan of Gloucestershire wines, but this Cornish white is well worth the difference in price. I hope to take a bottle to France as a present."
Dr Christopher Currie (04-Jul-2017)
The Daily Mail (3rd Sep 2016)
"The ultimate wine to
drink with oysters and clams! - Matthew Jukes"
The Observer (18th Sep 2016)
producer that has done much to help raise English wine’s quality, and one of my
favourite expressions of bacchus, with a lovely fullness of gooseberry and
elderflower fruitiness and citrus raciness. A Cornish answer to Kiwi sauvignon. - David Williams"
"This was outstanding!! I served this with potted shrimp on New Years Eve and it went down a storm. Lively, fresh, and fruity cut through the rich spicy butter a treat. Without doubt one I will be keeping in stock for this years spring/summer."
Mr Sam Megson (08-Jan-2016)
"With a few years
under its belt this is a stunning example of just how impressive Camel Valley’s
wines are. Elderflower and nettle on the nose subside to lemon balm on
the palate – world class! - Matthew Jukes"
thewinegang.com (2nd Aug 2016)
sparkling wine hogs almost all the headlines, and justifiably, Camel Valley,
whose own fizz from Bob and Sam Lindo is up there with the best, also does a
good line in still wine made from the bacchus grape (think sauvignon blanc),
which is fresh, intense and nettley, showing both textured ripeness and a
steely blade of refreshingly zingy acidity. 87/100"
JancisRobinson.com (8th Jun 2016)
nose. Clean enough. Hedgerows.
- Jancis Robinson
The Evening Standard (19th May 2016)
you’re a fan of herbaceous and floral New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, try this
aromatic white from south-facing slopes above the River Camel in Cornwall.
Father-and-son team, Bob and Sam Lindo, have created an award-winning,
signature wine bursting with green apples, lime, lemongrass and elderflower
flavours. Pairs with seafood, asparagus or goats cheese and is refreshing on
its own, too.
- Nuria Stylianou
winegang.com (2nd Jun 2014)
"Bacchus has become
English still wine's signature variety, and Bob and Sam Lindo's Cornish version
is the best around. It is a refreshingly racy and pungently green dry white,
with nettles, Cox's apples, and cut-grass rubbing shoulders with vivacious
citrus acidity. - The Wine Gang"
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