Albourne Estate in Sussex claims to have launched “England’s first Frizzante”, as a result of last summer’s bumper harvest.
The lightly sparkling Bacchus Frizzante 2018 comes in a clear bottle with a screwcap and image of Brighton’s iconic West Pier, complete with a murmuration of starlings drawn by a tattoo artist. The label design is a nod to the spritz of the wine and the winery’s location behind the South Downs, ten minutes away from the coastal city.
Vineyard owner, Alison Nightingale, said: “The [Bacchus] grape has a natural exuberance and a lightness of touch.
“The Frizzante’s delicate effervescence complements the elegance and crispness of the wine, intensifying its flavours and creating a soft almost creamy mouthfeel.”
The 12.5% abv Bacchus Frizzante has a more youthful and fresh nature than the estate’s bottle fermented sparkling wines. It is made using the tank fermentation method, which is often used for more aromatic grapes and is the same process used to make Prosecco, resulting in a fruit-driven wine.
The Frizzante has a lighter fizz, which is around one third of that achieved in the estate’s sparkling wines, because only a small amount of sugar was added on second fermentation. This has created softer and more subtle bubbles, which can be bottled with a screwcap.
Nightingale added: “We are excited to be introducing Bacchus Frizzante for the summer, as a delightfully new and fun way to enjoy our ever-popular award-winning Bacchus wine.
“It is very drinkable because of its lightness, and would appeal to people who like Prosecco.”
The Frizzante is the second Italian-influenced product created by Nightingale and her Sicilian wine consultant Salvatore Leone. Last year the pair developed the first Sussex vermouth called 40.
“We are always trying to push the frontier and to introduce different things. With the Frizzante we are showing that we are adventurous and that we change our plans to respond to the opportunities that the climate presents to take English wine into new areas.
“The ideal growing conditions, with no frost while the vines flowered, a warm summer and dry September, created an opportunity to be more experimental with our Bacchus and more selective with our grapes.
“We believe we have created the perfect wine to enjoy during what we hope will be another glorious English summer.”
Just 3,500 bottles of the limited edition 2018 vintage have been produced and bottles will be priced at £14.95 from the producer’s website and from selected independent retailers.