BB Review: Bolney Dark Harvest

The British are coming! The British are coming! 

With the change in climate well underway, Great Britain may soon be changing its name to Grape Britain! This month, we're reviewing three English wines to see how great English grapes really are. Long live the vine! 🍷 🇬🇧 🍾  (read our first and second review from this round!) 

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THE WINE

BOTTLE: Bolney Dark Harvest – West Sussex, England

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £9.99 from Waitrose

ABV & TECH SPECS:  12.5% ABV

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WHO BOUGHT IT & WHY: Angela here. I'm a big fan of Bolney wines and this particular blend was one I hadn't tried before. Simple as that, really!

LET'S GET NERDY: Bolney Estate, located in the South Downs, was started back in 1972 by Janet and Rodney Pratt as Bookers Vineyard, with three acres of vines. It now has 39 acres and has become a specialist in English red wine production. Their daughter, Sam, is now in charge of making the family wine and this blend, Dark Harvest, is made with Rondo and Dornfelder grapes.

PARTY FACT: Soil is very important in producing quality wines and our potential for great sparkling wines here in the UK is often heralded to the fact we share similar soil compositions as Champagne. Want to get geeky on soils? The soil in Bolney is also known as ‘Upper Tunbridge Wells Sand’ and is a composition of silt, sandstones and clay, which is perfect for heat retention and drainage in our lovely British weather! 

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THE VERDICT 

CARO: One of the weirdest wines I’ve tasted- it first tricked me with its rich plumy colour and smells of beef bourguignon, but then attacked my palate with what I can only compare to that incredibly dry sensation left in your mouth after smoking a joint. BUT its full potential actually opened up when paired with some food! Phheewww!

ANGELA: Dark indeed! Red fruits, tomatoes and bonfire aromas– this feels a little heavy and tannic on my palate for afternoon sipping but give me a cold winter day, a bowl of beef stew and that longing for a grippy warming red and I might be back for more...

KATE: If this wine was a person, it would be a pipe-smoking, tweed-wearing, and ever-so-slightly offensive grandfather who you love dearly but are happy to only see at Christmas. It's heavy, a bit leathery, a bit saucy, and totally something I want to come back to in the winter. Like all semi-offensive older people, it's best enjoyed with lots of fresh air. 

WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS?  We’re sipping this slowly and feel like it has some secrets to unlock. Will report back at a different (cooler) time. 

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