Blackbook is an urban winery located in Battersea, tucked away in the London Stone Business Estate. It’s a fully working winery and is usually open for tours and tastings – just give them a shout and I’m sure they’ll arrange a little intro to their wines for you.
I visited recently to try their spring releases, one of which is “Tamesis” – the first wine to be made in London from London-grown grapes since the Roman times! To celebrate this little fact, it was called “Tamesis” after the Roman word for Thames.
In an order recommended by the lovely Pascale, here are the wines I tasted:
2017 CHARDONNAY “PAINTER OF LIGHT” 100% Chardonnay
This wine was made using Burgundian techniques with 30% new French oak. It really comes through on the nose – it’s beautifully toasty and creamy. Yet, on the palate it is much fresher and crisper than you’d expect, making it a lovely light, approachable style of Chardonnay – perfect for spring.
2018 BACCHUS “TAMESIS” 100% Bacchus
I really love the Bacchus grape – the floral aromatics are so appealing to me. It smells like a meadow – summer in a glass! The elderflower and the white peach come through deliciously on the palate, along with hints of citrus that really get the mouth watering.
2018 BLEND “THE MIX-UP” 50% Ortega, 50% Bacchus
So tropical! I smell pineapple, dried mango and papaya – it’s a real luau for the tastebuds! There’s a saline edge to it too, which makes it feel even more like a beach wine. Better still, it’s only 10.5% ABV so it’s definitely one for daytime fun in the sun.
2017 SEYVAL BLANC “GMF” 100% Seyval Blanc
A natural wine, it’s got a hazy lime-green appearance. With fine delicate bubbles, it’s more of a spritz, but don’t be fooled – it’s got bags of atttitude! It’s fresh, citrusy, salty with a punchy peck of pepper (of the white variety). This is one of my faves.
2018 ROSÉ “I’D RATHER BE A REBEL” 100% Pinot Noir
Not your typical rosé – a bit of a rebel, I’d say! It’s much earthier than you might expect, with some herbal notes squaring up to the ripe red cherry. Because of the savouriness and the texture, it’s extremely food-friendly and I hear it is the bomb with pork!
2017 PINOT NOIR “NIGHT JAR” 100% Pinot Noir
Super light in colour, it’s a pretty little thing, but it does pack a punch when it comes to aromas. Definitely sour cherry with some oak spice – you might detect some violets too. On the palate, it’s light-bodied and elegant – it would be a perfect red apertif or a wine to pair with a garden-fresh salad.
If you’re interested in English wines, you’ve got to check out Blackbook. All of their wines are English grown and made and, as each wine is made from the grapes of a single vineyard, the terroir buffs can happily discuss the sense of place. It’s nice to see so many varieties in their still wines selection (England doesn’t just do sparkling!), plus most of the wines are single varietal, giving drinkers the opportunity to experience the true expression of the grape. You might be interested to know that they are all vegan too. Happy drinking!