Highlights: Lyme Bay Winery Pinot Noir 2020 Essex, England

This is an impressive Pinot Noir showing the still wine potential of the Crouch Valley in Essex. It’s sourced from a number of vineyards: Martin’s Lane, Missing Gate, PW Robinson, Crows Lane and GW Cooper. Small batch fermentations and an interesting oak regime, with 30% new, and in addition to French there’s some experimental American and Eastern European oak.

Lyme Bay Winery Pinot Noir 2020 Essex, England
12.5% alcohol. Lyme Bay are based in Devon, and this is prominently displayed on the label, but the grapes here come from the Crouch Valley in Essex – a hot spot for grapes for still wines in the UK. It’s made from still wine clones, and the grapes were harvested between 3rd and 20th October. Aged in 30% new oak. This is beautifully ripe and aromatic on the nose with sweet cherries and plums and also some spice and chocolate notes in the background. The palate is ripe and fleshy, but also has good structure, with the spicy oak in the background adding another dimension to the sleek black cherry fruit. Really fine and expressive with lovely weight and balance – one of the finest still Pinot Noirs I’ve tried from the UK. 94/100 (£27.99 direct from winery)