Biddenden Gamay 2009

Sally & Julian Barnes, BiddendenJancis Robinson MW’s wine of the week in late April, this shows that, with the right care and attention, good reds are possible in the UK. They may not pack the punch of an Aussie Shiraz, but as with good Beaujolais, the best can offer flavour and finesse on a light-bodied framework.

Winemaker Julian Barnes – seen here with his wife Sally picking up their 2009 English & Welsh Wine Award trophies outside the House of Lords – feels part of the key is not to pick too early – always a bit bold in the British weather. And whole bunches are picked and extra care is taken to gently extract colour and flavour at the outset using carbonic maceration. The result? Crunchy, plush red fruit sits nicely alongside a ripe, balanced acidity. Enjoy with simple meats or fish dishes.