Hattingley Valley Demi-Sec 2013

Hattingley Valley is amongst the highest-regarded producers of English Sparkling Wine, producing delicious products from their vineyards and winery in the picturesque Hampshire countryside.

In 2013, the fantastic Hattingley Valley range was extended with the creation of a Demi-Sec wine. Demi-Sec is a sweeter style of sparkling wine. It is made by exactly the same traditional method as our favourite Brut versions, but receives an extra nudge of sweetness during the disgorging/dosage processes.

2013 saw a cold spell in April and May, delaying budburst for two weeks, but fortunately this was followed by a gloriously hot summer. The grapes ripened slowly and gained a good balance between acidity and sugar levels which is ideal for creating sparkling wine. All of Hattingley’s grapes are harvested by hand and in 2013, harvest began on 2nd October.

Hattingley’s Demi-Sec 2013 comprises 59% Pinot Noir, 36% Pinot Meunier and 5% Pinot Précoce, (an early-ripening Pinot Noir clone). The grapes were carefully selected from the finest parcels of these varieties. Upon arrival at the winery, approximately 10% of the grapes were fermented in old Burgundy barrels. Fermenting in barrel encourages a subtle exchange of oxygen through the wood, creating a rounder style of wine. Older barrels are used so they contribute the aforementioned characteristics without imparting a distinct woody flavour. The wine then went through partial malolactic fermentation, (where the crisp, appley malic acid is converted into approachable creamy lactic acid) and was aged on its yeast lees for five months in barrel.

At bottling more yeast and some nutrients, (known as the ‘liqueur de tirage’) were added to trigger the secondary fermentation. The wine underwent a slow secondary fermentation, being kept on its side to increase the contact between the liquid and the new yeast lees. The wine was aged in this manner for 36 months, progressively gaining mature, tertiary flavours and structure through the process of autolysis. Autolysis is where wines gain their complex ‘bready’ and ‘yeasty’ flavours. This part of the traditional sparkling wine production method is arguably the most important stage.

Once the wine had completed its secondary fermentation and been aged, the bottles were riddled. Riddling is where the bottles are slowly turned and twisted from a laying position to an upright one with the neck facing downwards. This causes the yeast to gather in the neck of the bottle where it can be easily removed via the disgorging process. The bottle neck containing the dead yeast cells was frozen and then the bottle opened, releasing the yeast in a pellet of ice.

The disgorging process also includes the addition of the wine’s dosage, where sweetness is added to the wine to establish the perfect balance and style. Hattingley’s award-winning winemaker, Emma Rice, added 38g/l of dosage to the Demi-Sec to create the sumptuously sweet style without masking the wine’s inherent complexities and unique characteristics.

The beauty of the Demi-Sec style is that it’s approachable and supple, perfect for using as a toast and even better when paired with dessert! Try Hattingley Demi-Sec with fruit tarts, crème brûlée or panna cotta.

Alternatively, match this stunning wine with mince pies, Christmas pudding or yule log…

Tasting Note
Succulent aromas of ripe red fruit dusted with brown sugar and buttery pastry. The perfectly balanced sweetness compliments the fresh acidity giving a long, intense finish.

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