Hampshire’s chalklands are the source for a new sparkling wine which has launched to critical acclaim. Black Chalk has been created by award-winning winemaker, Jacob Leadley, and currently comprises two wines: Black Chalk Classic and Black Chalk Wild Rose.
Black Chalk is a family affair, with Leadley’s wife Rebecca partnering on the venture along with her brother, Andrew Seden, and parents. The Leadleys have lived close to the market town of Alresford, since Leadley gave up a job in The City to retrain as a winemaker back in 2009. After completing a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College in Sussex, followed by winemaking experience in Central Otago, Champagne and England, he decided to embark on his own venture in 2015. He remains on the award-winning team at Hattingley as winemaker, where he has been since 2011 and where he has worked on more than 100 English Sparkling Wines over the last seven years.
Both Black Chalk wines launch with the 2015 vintage, and are made with Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, hand-selected from the county’s finest vineyard sites. They are small-batch produced and have an unusually high proportion of Pinot Meunier (34% in the Classic and 47% in the Wild Rose), which Leadley believes is ideally suited to Hampshire’s chalklands. Stylistically, purity of fruit is key, along with structure and a complex, balanced palate. The careful use of oak for a proportion of the wines and time on lees helps to develop this complexity.
The name Black Chalk derives from the material used by the old masters to sketch initial ideas onto canvas before finalising their masterpiece. This is reflected in Black Chalk’s wine, where the best locally grown grapes are selected, fastidiously blended and aged before market release.
Black Chalk Classic and Black Chalk Wild Rose are available at Southsea restaurants Two Doors Down and Restaurant 27
The wines are also available to buy via www.blackchalkwine.co.uk (Black Chalk Classic: £35 and Black Chalk Wild Rose: £40)
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