Exton Park, the award-winning 60-acre Hampshire vineyard, has just launched a new single varietal wine, the Pinot Meunier Rosé Plot 4, which, with its unique terroir, pure chalk soils, meticulous growing and production methods, along with their progressive approach to winemaking, very much encapsulates the very best of Exton Park.
It was just six years ago that Exton Park produced the first ever 100 per cent Pinot Meunier Rosé in the UK and was immediately met with critical acclaim (Gold IWC 2016, Silver Decanter 2016, and Gold Wessex VA 2016). More recently the winery has been developing another new ground-breaking Pinot Meunier expression that is sure to go down well with wine-lovers.
Unlike many other leading wineries, Corinne Seely, who is the Wine Director at Exton Park, champions the Pinot Meunier variety and believes it has a great deal of potential, despite it often being overlooked as a single variety wine in favour of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here the UK.
If you look at traditional wine production, Pinot Meunier is normally produced in such a way so as to blend out its varietal characteristics. However, at Exton Park, they believe that because their vineyard’s unique chalky terroir creates such a distinguished flavour of Pinot Meunier, they carefully nurture the vines around the unpredictable British weather to enhance the innate properties of the grapes. As Corinne Seely says:
“Pinot Meunier is like a sleeping beauty, a grape that has waited patiently to be awoken and adored. When I tasted the juice from our first pressing of Plot 4, I was astounded by the profusion of the flavours. I knew this plot had the potential to express the unique, chalky vineyard soil to create a wine with a very distinctive personality. The result is something I am extremely proud to present and is the next step in innovation at Exton Park.”
Plot 4 itself, sits on a south-westerly slope and offers the perfect terroir for growing Pinot Meunier with the highest level of chalk. Once the grapes are perfectly ripe, they are pressed slowly and gently to draw out the distinctive flavour. Then after three years lees ageing and a further three years spent under cork before release, the net result is a delicate but dry rosé that is pale copper in colour and has a balanced floral character. Add to that notes of freshly cut flowers, white peach and bright tangerine, and the wine retains a remarkable purity when paired with a wide range of dishes, making it perfect for almost every occasion.
The new Exton Park Pinot Meunier Rosé was initially only available to purchase exclusively through Exton Park’s new members only wine club, The Vault, where members receive 12 bottles of Exton Park’s signature Reserve Blends per annum via bi-annual deliveries of 6 bottles. In addition, members are offered priority access to Limited Releases as well as complimentary storage alongside other Exton Park wine purchases in their private, temperature-controlled chalk cellar.
Another advantage to membership, is having access to events and experiences held at Exton Hall.
For more information on Exton Park and to purchase a bottle of the Limited Release Pinot Meunier Rosé for yourself, priced at £95, please visit https://extonparkvineyard.com.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of the Exton Park Vineyard