'Clarence' is made using Semillon grown on our Edgehill block. Fresh but unctuous with hints of marmalade characters that allude to the 100% Botrytised Semillon grapes from our Edgehill vineyard. Clarence is delicious served chilled with dessert or with some delicate soft cheese, or try with a strong blue cheese for a classic match.
We had terrific winter and spring rains leading up to vintage 2017, a marked contrast to the previous year, proving once again if proof were needed, that every vintage is different. We had a cool early part to spring too, combined with the spring rain. Flowering was about 3 weeks later than the previous year which of course meant that vintage was 3 weeks later than normal, or as some old locals said sagely, back to the old normal. There was a very long and slow ripening period which is terrific for allowing grapes to develop their flavours. We had a pretty dry February March and April, once the spring rains finished in mid-January. Overall a late vintage with some incredibly promising reds and outstanding whites.
We picked the Semillon extremely ripe at 20° + Beaumé then crushed it, pressed it off skins and then fermented in stainless steel (a small amount went into new French oak to add complexity and texture) and then to bottle soon after. This wine was 100% botrytised, which means that all of the Semillon grapes were affected by noble rot, or Botrytis. So a proper dessert wine, by French Sauternes standards.
Picking Date: 15th May 2017
Bottling Date: 2nd August 2017