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October 4th – Lympstone Manor Estate celebrated its fourth grape harvest with a Harvest Festival that also saw the launch of two new wines. Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvée is the long-awaited release of the estate’s classic method sparkling wine, produced from a cuvée of Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay. Lympstone Manor Estate Isabeau Rosé 2022 is a still rosé produced from Pinot Noir grapes. These two wines together with award-winning Lympstone Manor Estate Triassic Pinot Noir 2020 are now all available (in strictly limited quantity) to purchase from the Lympstone Manor Estate web site www.lympstonemanorestate.co.uk
Those taking part in the Harvest Festival – residents, House Members, journalists, and friends – were first invited to assist in the picking of grapes, an opportunity to see and feel the fruit that will be transformed into the new Lympstone Manor Estate wines from the 2023 vintage as well as to gain a small insight into the laborious hand-labour that goes into the making of single-estate wines. Picking grapes is hard work! Afterwards, they were rewarded for their efforts with a first taste of the just-released Lympstone Manor Classic Cuvée, along with a talk and presentation by Michael Caines and James Lambert, the winemaker at Lyme Bay Winery who is responsible for the creation of the Lympstone Manor Estate range of wines. This was followed by a wonderful lunch paired with the estate’s wines.
The 2023 Harvest Festival was therefore a significant and special day in the history of Lympstone Manor. “From the moment I set eyes on this wonderful place,” says Michael, “I dreamed of creating a luxury country hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant where we could serve our own range of single-estate wines. Today that dream has been fully realised as we mark the release of Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvée as well as Lympstone Manor Estate Isabeau Rosé 2022. Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvée just the type of sparkling wine I dreamt of creating when we first planted the vineyard in 2018. The high-quality fruit we were able to grow on our vineyard during that first harvest summer of 2020 allowed us to make a fabulous base wine from a cuvée of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay (the latter fermented in part in new French oak). This was then transformed into sparkling by the classic method of secondary fermentation in the bottle followed by 36 months ageing on the lees. Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvée has a fine and persistent mousse, and is rich in the mouth, complex, toasty, and bone dry, requiring only a minimal dosage, the ideal wine to enjoy as an aperitif or to accompany foods. I absolutely love it and can’t stop drinking it myself!”
Michael spent formative years of his career working and learning his craft in France alongside some of the country’s most famous and iconic chefs. At the same time, he learned about wine and gained a love for the French classics. He comments, “I always look to France as the benchmark for the styles of wines I want to create. If Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvée looks to Champagne as an archetype, Lympstone Manor Estate Triassic Pinot Noir 2020 is most definitely Burgundian in character, sleek, elegant, classy. It is not easy to make quality red wines in England, so I was absolutely delighted that this wine, our very first release, won the Best English Red Wine Award at the prestigious International Wine Challenge 2023. Lympstone Manor Estate Isabeau Rosé 2022 looks to emulate the pale, dry, and forceful rosés of Provence that I love so much and I think we have been very successful. These are all wines that will pair well with my cuisine.”
The story of wine at Lympstone Manor Estate is in its earliest years. Vines need time to send roots deeply into the mineral-rich alluvial sub-soil of the Lympstone Manor vineyard and wines take time to evolve and mature in the bottle. But the results that have been achieved from only the first handful of harvests have been extremely promising and we are so excited to see what each new vintage will bring.
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