Ridgeview Pimlico

English sparkling wine is a very fine thing indeed, if not yet the equal of champagne, but I wouldn't say the same of such English still red wines as I've tasted (although that's no great sample size - not even a handful).

Hence, via some unconscious calculus of likely quality, I had no great expectations of a bottle of Ridgeview Pimlico. And so I was very pleasantly surprised - it's delicious.

It pours a dark, dark red, with properly pink froth, sending my mind on Austral paths, but of course the cepage is the Pinots Noir & Meunier, so it is light in body, despite the dark colour.

The nose is a very attractive mix of bitter cherry and dark chocolate. The palate matches the nose precisely, and adds a mature, gamey note - although I was reminded more of Chianti and Sangiovese than Burgundy and Pinot Noir.

The finish, alas, is short and abrupt, but nevertheless, for the colours and flavours, I would rate it as mostly excellent.

There didn't appear to be a vintage marked on the bottle, but it seems that this was made in 2003  because it was such a hot year that the grapes were supremely ripe. So don't be looking for this in your local wine merchant any time soon.

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