Bolney Antares 2008

Bolney's first sparkling red is named after one of the most visible stars in the night skies, the super red giant, Antares – its radius is about 800 times that of the sun. Made in the traditional manner from Dornfelder, a grape that does well in the cooler climates of England, less than 200 cases were produced, so this is one to catch while you can. Bolney-harvestingWith a fine deep colour, the nose is full of purple plums and raspberries. With spicy cherries on the palate and a nice dry finish, this offered more substance than a rosé on the flavour front, while still having the palate cleansing bubbles.

On the food front, it was a pleasure with cheese nibbles and a pea and wasabi dip that was our accompaniment, but winemaker Sam Lintner is saying spicy savoury dishes, like Peking Duck with hoisin sauce or grilled teriyaki-glazed salmon, and game – duck or pheasant – for the mains, and I can well imagine that. She's also thinking dark chocolate cake, summer pudding or mixed berry cheesecake for desserts. Because it is dry, I think I'll have to experiment once more to see if the puds have a match or overwhelm – what a hardship.

But seriously, with grapes like Dornfelder to the ready, this could be the start of a new UK style. Let's hope so.

Available from the winery's website.

Posted: Summer 2010