Harrow & Hope Blanc de Blancs 2013

Harrow & Hope Blanc de Blancs 2013, 12%

(£28-35, pre-release from the winery website)

There are many reasons to visit Marlow, the picturesque Chilterns town on the Thames in Buckinghamshire. One is Tom Kerridge’s famous two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers eatery (and also its more informal offshoot, The Coach). Another is Harrow & Hope, the new winery by Henry and Kaye Laithwaite, which is perched atop a nearby flint-ridden hillside, overlooking the town and distant Winter Hill, famous as the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame’s Wild Wood of his 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows.

Having already been impressed by the H&H rosé, we were intrigued to sample their new release Blanc de Blancs, which is currently being offered for pre-release sale (the official launch is in November). It just bowls you over – magnificently rich and effusive, broad but with a great sense of energy, vitality and finesse. The 2013 was a ripe style, crafted from very low yielding vines – so perhaps one to drink young, while it’s still super showy and vital. (7-7.5/10, Susie and Peter, Sept 2016)