Exton Park launches Reserve Blend range
Exton Park in Hampshire has launched its Reserve Blend range, described as “an innovative trio of traditional method sparkling wines that challenge classic winemaking conventions”.
Wine director Corinne Seely does not rely on a base vintage for her wines, instead she draws on the extensive library of reserves she has built up since 2011 to compose each year’s blend. This, Exton Park believes, is the only way to guarantee consistency of taste, year-after-year, in the vagaries of the UK climate, often adding only up to 20% of the latest harvest to each bottle.
First planted in 2003, Exton Park’s 60-acre single vineyard in the South Downs National Park (near Winchester) comprises plantings of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. Within this are nine individual plots, creating a patchwork of vines planted on different chalky soils with different altitudes and aspects. Each plot is hand-harvested and vinified separately, before being stored individually in Seely’s library of tailor-made, small-batch tanks at the winery. Over the last decade this has built into an extensive archive of different flavour profiles for her to play with, and the new range has been named Reserve Blend (RB) in its honour.
Managing director Kit Ellen said: “Exton Park has come of age. After ten years of experimenting in the vineyard and winery, we now have a range of wines that set us apart from other English producers. Our philosophy has always been focused on quality and innovation. Corinne’s new style of blending is a great example of this ethos in action; our Reserve Blend wines are a step away from the traditional terms of Vintage and Non-Vintage, in a concerted effort to capture the nuances of our different approach to curating and blending our wines.”
Seely said: “Our library of reserve wines is what makes Exton Park so special. When it comes to blending, it’s like a puzzle in my mind and the reserves are my puzzle pieces. I feel privileged to be able to make such a diverse mix of wines from the same vines by blending the reserves in different ways.”
The names of the three new wines in the Reserve Blend range give an indication of the average number of individual reserve wines that have gone into the blend:
Exton Park RB32 Brut (RRP £39.00)
Exton Park RB23 Rosé (RRP £39.00)
Exton Park RB28 Blanc de Noirs (RRP £43.00)
Some additional limited release wines will be launched over the next few months and years.
To celebrate the launch, Exton Park will also unveil a new brand identity with re-designed bottle labels and packaging and an all-new website. The new labels have a ‘peel and reveal’ neck foil unveiling one of four landscape photographs of the vineyard in the Meon Valley, a UK first. The rosé bottle labels use a debossed watermark paper - a material that has never been used before by a UK wine producer - with a pattern replicating the vineyard rows and plots, allowing the signature pale, blush pink of the wine to shine through. As a founding member of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain accreditation, Exton Park is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and all gift and outer packaging is fully recyclable and sourced from the UK.
Ellen said: “The English wine industry has developed at pace, with new trends emerging around local, British produce and the demand for sustainable, authentic brands. With a certified sustainable 60-acre vineyard, a bespoke winery and, coming later this year, a new events facility overlooking the vines, we’re able to cater to these trends and offer our supporters the ultimate English wine experience.”