Thursday, 6 June 2013

Brightwell Vineyard, Crispin

On trying a rather eclectic mix of wines one evening, I came across Brightwell's Crispin. It's a blend of  two lesser-known grape varieties, Bacchus and Reichensteiner, which are generally described as producing soft, dry wines. Bacchus has recently come to the fore as it is grown across English vineyards, notably Camel Valley (who make a rather good sparkling wine).

Described by the Independent as having 'notes of spicy fruit and rosewater on the nose with bold barley sugar aspects on the palate', Crispin is reasonably well-regarded among the English wines. Whilst the the Independent was describing the Crispin favourably, I couldn't help but think that the rather strange collection of flavours rather clashed with one another. Spice, rose and barley sugar? Not exactly classic bedfellows... As a result, it was with interest but mild trepidation that I tasted it (blind, incidentally, along with several other wines).

Colour: Water. The tiniest hint of yellow informs us that this is, in fact, wine.

Nose: Hm. Not a fan. Considering I knew there would be Crispin in the tasting selection somewhere I was actively looking for wines with hints of rosewater and spice in the nose, but I immediately dismissed this. Fairly bland, with the slightest hint of lemon (rather like a large glass of water with a small wedge of lemon in it), it smelt to me to be a bland supermarket pint grigio.

Flavour: No rose. Hint of slightly over-sweet strawberry. Not nice. Insipid and acidic.

Body: None to speak of. Thin, acidic and sharp.

Finish: Disappointing. Short, with harshness and strawberry again.

Conclusion: When I found out that wine 4 was Crispin I was heartily disappointed - I had wanted to like this wine, or at least be interested by it enough to commend it to others. Sadly, I found it perfectly resembled the Great British Weather - drab, dreary, harsh and unpleasant. I may consider trying it again one day, but not any time soon, especially at the rather unreasonable price of around £10. Amazed Decanter gave it a bronze medal...

Points: Is there any use?

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