Three Choirs Vineyard Parsons Leap

By | June 15, 2006

Hurrah, England have qualified for the knock out stages, so I will celebrate with a glass of English Wine, against my better judgement. The Three Choirs Vineyard is in Gloucestershire, rather far north for a vineyard, but it’s certainly a commercial operation rather than a hobby. They’ve been making wine in their 75 acres for thirty years. If global warming is a reality and rainfall in England really is falling (er, reducing), then it could be an estate to watch for the future.

Parsons Leap is a reasonably priced wine at around £5-6, and available in supermarkets. It boasts hand picked grapes, although isn’t specific on the label about which ones. A little digging reveals Madeleine Angevine Phoenix, Reichenstiener and Seyval Blanc, so I can see why they didn’t bother.

It’s a very pale yellow green, with little viscosity. The nose is gentle, with hints of blossom, some citrus fruit, and just a hint of nettles. The 2004 smells young and fresh.

It’s dry and crisply acidic, although not unpleasantly so, keeping it light. There’s grapefruit and lime on the palate which takes over a little from the blossom. At 11% it’s reasonably low in alcohol. There’s not enough fruit really to keep this wine going so drink over the next six months.

Parson’s Leap is light and fresh, perhaps best served chilled in the garden on a Sunday afternoon, it could accompany fairly plain poached fish or chicken, but would perhaps get a bit lost against even quite light sauces.

I’ll buy another bottle in 5 years to see whether climate change is making a difference, but for now there’s plenty to choose from in this price bracket and Parson’s Leap isn’t jumping above the rest.