Luigi Buonanno is Group sommelier and wine buyer for the Etrusca group of restaurants. He's also a keen wine blogger, writing on Italian wine website Doctor Wine.
Here he reviews Kenton Bacchus - with some poignant observations on the whole English wine connundrum.
"It is quite a funny thing that we think that the two most important markets for wine are two cities in countries which do not produce wine: London and Hong Kong. But this is not actually the truth. In England people enjoy all the wines of the world and there has never been emphasis or attention placed on what the potential is for the native land.
Britain only took the challenge seriously after the Second World War, before this there was wine produced in England but with poor results.
Lately wine growers are improving their knowledge and passion - aiming to produce quality wines - of which Kenton Vineyard is one. It was established in 2003 by Jo and Matthew, a couple of London professionals, who decided to move to the countryside to embrace a tough challenge: producing quality wines in England.
The vineyard lies on the west side of Devon's Exe Estuary, nestling in the foothills of the Haldon Hills. The south facing slopes and sandy soil together with the mild and sunny climate represent an ideal ‘terroir’ for growing vines and ripening grapes.
I have tried several Bacchus in my life and I have never come across one which has impressed me. It is a German grape variety that grows well in England and is listed as one of the recommended grape varieties for England. We all know that England represents a tough call for a wine growers because England is at the extreme parallels where the grapes ripen. This can be translated in wines with high acidity and supple structure. The problem that I have found with the other English Bacchus is that most of them are off dry or medium, ‘Spatlese’ if we want to use a German wine classification; this is also due to the high content of sugar present in the grape itself.
When people are a bit sceptical about a wine I think that they have tried the wrong one which unfortunately continues to influence their choice even in the future. Despite the fact that I had never tried a decent Bacchus I continued to taste them until I found this one.
The Bacchus 2010 of Kenton Vineyard shows a pale straw yellow colour, the nose opens to almond flower notes followed by a distinct note of elderflower and then fruity hits of nectarine and kiwi. The palate is absolutely fresh, dry and has an intriguing tangy tail. It is a perfect aperitif or can be an accompaniment to crustaceans such as poached lobster or grilled tiger prawns. Perhaps the English will better enjoy it with the most classic fish and chips and I absolutely have to agree."
Posted by Luigi Buonanno, with thanks to www.doctorwine.it
The original article can be viewed here