When recently invited to attend a dinner for the inaugural meeting of Brancott Estate’s Curious Club my interest was piqued enough to go (the invitation was also from the same team who were behind the excellent and very interesting Label Project). I am a huge fan of New World Wines, and have a particular fondness of those from New Zealand, but had not heard of Brancott.
Of course I should have realised / researched / known that Brancott was previously known as Montana (The wine formerly know as Montana perhaps?) and that I had enjoyed it on many occasions. What I did not know, and found very interesting, was that they were the first vineyard to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Malborough, way back in 1973, that August, Frank Yukich of Montana Wines said “Wines from here will become world famous”. How right he was!
Adrian Atkinson, Wine Development Director of Pernod Ricard, told us some more about the brand, and I was impressed with their attention to detail – such as some of the vines are planted East / West rather than North / South. Grapes from the shady side are used in the sparkling wine and those from the sunny side in the more everyday bottles. Also of interest is a new sparkling Pinot Noir, sadly not available in the UK yet.
Brancott produces two lines of wine, The Classic from all over the region, and the Letter Series. The Letter series are made from selected grapes to produce rather more special bottles. I especially liked the Sauvignon Gris, with notes of elderflower and grapefruit, the Pinot Noirs – both silky smooth, fruity and not too tannic. I loved the sweeter Sauvignon Blanc served with the Christmas pudding, just the right amount of sweetness with none of the off metallic taste that my strange palate sometimes gives to sweet wines.
Selection of Hot & Cold Canapés
Brancott Estate Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Brut NV
Warm Lobster Salad, Confit Lemon, Tomatoes & Artichokes, Coral & Grain Mustard Dressing
Brancott Estate Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Black Winter Truffle Risotto, Brown Butter
Brancott Estate Letter Series Renwick Sauvignon Gris 2011
Brancott Estate Classic Pinot Noir 2011
Roast Loin of Highland Venison, Celeriac & Truffle Purée, Caramelized Pumpkin & Poached Williams Pear, Venison Jus
Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘T’ Pinot Noir 2010
Traditional Christmas Pudding
Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011
If you are still looking for a great bottle of wine in the £10 – £15 range then I highly recommend all the Brancott wines I tried. Full tasting notes and details of stockists are here.
Many thanks to Brancott Estate for a lovely evening, my goodie bag and for asking me to be a member of their Curious Club.