Cornwall #3 – Camel Valley Gold

Don’t you dare go to Cornwall without visiting Camel Valley Winery. I mean it, I will hunt you down and demand an excuse, non of which will be sufficient justification for your error. They are producing World class wine, especially in the Sparkling department.

Bob Lindo is an ex-RAF pilot, who bought some vines in the Cornish countryside back in 1989. Over 20 years and countless awards later, Bob’s son Sam is now the winemaker (still with a little help from Bob!), winning UK winemaker of the year in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Take a look at this link to check out all of the awards.

The set-up is delightful, with a spacious tasting room and shop, serving bottles, glasses and tasting size samples of all the wines on offer. When we arrived this morning there was a huge bonfire at the entrance to the property; Bob told us this was where the evidence of all the recent pruning was being dealt with. We were the only visitors before noon and we worked our way through the sublime selection. I visited Camel Valley about 18 months ago and enjoyed the wines, but this time they were showing even better – I am honestly failing to see any reason to open a bottle of Champagne ever again – and I thought the tasting at Ruinart in Reims was jaw-dropping.

The wines

The still wines are good, but the real winners are the Sparklers, which are outstanding:

Still Whites

Atlantic Dry 2010 (£11.95)
60% Bacchus, 20% Rheichensteiner, 20% Chardonnay
Ripe, tropical and intense aromas – this isn’t shy. Grapefruit and a hint of honey sweetness and a bit of grip leading to a dry and pleasant finish. 88 points

Bacchus Dry 2011 (£12.95)
100% Bacchus
Ripe tropical fruit aromas with a slight hint of farmyard. Very citrusy and tropical – it kind of reminds me of 5 Alive from when I was a child (I liked 5 Alive!). Dry and taut finish. 87 points


Sparkling Wines

Camel Valley Brut 2010 (£24.95)
60% Seyval, 20% Reichensteiner, 20% Chardonnay
Elderflower and honey nose – very pretty and enticing. Really elegant with great appley acid and a hint of brioche on the generous and very dry finish. 90 points

Camel Valley Rose Brut 2010 (£26.95)
100% Pinot Noir
Beautiful salmon-pink colour. Fruity strawberry nose – smells like the middle of summer. Berry fruit and beautifully dry; the fruit tingles on your palate for an age – this is what Dom Perignon must have meant when he tasted the stars. 90 points

Annie’s Anniversary 2009 (£24.95)
100% Seyval
A smell of baked apples wrapped in pastry. Creamy, textured and rich. Great hit of citrus then the baked apple fruit cones along, swathed in patisserie. This is a very forward and confident wine with a lot of attitude! 91 points

Chardonnay Brut 2009 (£24.95)
100% Chardonnay
Vanilla and floral nose. Rich and creamy palate with a peachy fruitiness and a pleasant biscuit-lick at the finish. Gentle and elegant, like a kiss. So good but so modest. This is an ethereal wine that gets even better with every sip. A tasting glass simply isn’t enough. 94 points

White Pinot Noir 2010 (£29.95)
100% Pinot Noir
This smells like it should be pink! Wild strawberries jump up your nostrils. It’s like a fine strawberry tart with a buttery pastry casing and a touch of vanilla lifting it further. Pure class. 93 points

Sparkling Red 2010 (£17.95)
100% Rondo
With a colour like that it should come with a health warning! This had part-ey written all over it! It’s grown up sparkling Ribena and its great fun. Bundles of red and black fruit and makes you smile! 88 points

Visit the website and please don’t force me to hunt you down and ask why you didn’t go!

About Confessions of a Wine Geek

Posted on February 18, 2013, in Tasting post, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks Anthony! This is the sort of tip I am after. I’ve heard that there’s a lot of award winning sparkling English wine and had hoped to at least find some on the shelf. Now I’ll have to add a diversion into Cornwall just so you don’t hunt me down! 😉

  1. Pingback: Celebrating my century! | Confessions of a Wine Geek

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