Highlights: Westwell Pinot Meunier Multi Vintage, England

This is an interesting project. It’s a traditional method sparkling wine made with no additions at all. This comes from vintage 2019, 2020 and 2021, picked early (19.5 Brix) with high acidity (average 11 g/l TA). Each year 400 kg of Pinot Meunier was picked and fermented in plastic, and then in 2021 the fermenting juice was added to the previous two vintages and then bottled when the sugar was right. It was disgorged with no dosage in late 2023. ‘After the fermentation in bottle had occurred, it tasted very like Pet Nat,’ says Adrian Pike, ‘and I was concerned that it had failed – it was good but not worth the long investment. After the time on lees and disgorging however, I love the wine and wish it was an experiment we’d continued as it’s now going to take seven years to replicate.’

‘I have always felt that our meunier has something special about it, and whilst on a blend that adds some depth and character, I thought this time it should shine on its own.’

Westwell Pinot Meunier Multi Vintage, England
10.5% alcohol. This is bright, lively and complex with subtle savoury spice, toast and nuts, with a touch of honey, as well as lively citrus fruit and a touch of ripe apple. There’s a twist of cherry and aniseed, too. Really lovely focus, purity and complexity, finishing dry but not overly tart: the development of the base wines and ageing on lees has added a harmony and finesse to it. There are very few traditional-method sparklers that have no additions at all, and this is deeply impressive. 93/100 (£42.50 from Westwell directly)