The English Winemaker Mascot is a deeply golden and a touch hazy in the glass. Floral and aromatic with classic grapey aromas backed up with tangerine pith, honeysuckle, lavender and a spicy edge of clove and cinnamon. The palate is intense and dry with mid-palate weight and salinity; all that is promised on the nose is delivered.
The English Winemaker Mascot is 25% whole bunch fermentation in stainless steel with only naturally occurring indigenous yeasts. The mass of the skins prevented diurnal peaks and troughs of temperature, resulting in a fermentation that was nice and slow and needing no temperature control. It was hand plunged twice a day with no pump-overs, allowing a very gentle infusion of flavours without harsh extraction. The wine was left on the grape skins for a further 6 weeks post-fermentation (63 days on skins in total) before gentle pressing in a traditional basket press. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a tiny addition of sulphur immediately prior to bottling.
The English Winemaker is Matt Gregory’s project based on exploring terroir and natural winemaking. 25 years as an English wine merchant, with minor sabbaticals (children, vintage wedding dresses all the usual things) finally led to the need to make the wines he wanted to drink. A final year degree dissertation in growing Barbera in England (which seems far less Quixotic now than it did in the 1990s) has been followed up two decades later with winemaking stints in Sussex, New Zealand, and now an Italian iteration under his own label. Working in conjunction with Villa Giada in Piedmont’s Monferrato a region famed for the quality of its Barbera and Moscato, these wines are made gentle hands-off way with the sole aim of delicious and expressive wines.
Hand-picked Moscato from the heart of the Monferrato, West of Nizza, Piedmont, NW Italy. Extraordinarily persistent and opening out as the bottle is open longer. This is best served not too cold, certainly, a normal fridge cool is a bit too chilly for it. If you can bear to take it out of the fridge, open it (maybe have a cheeky glass out of the top) and come back to it an hour later it pays dividends. The sediment is completely natural and will mostly stay at the bottom with normal pouring, it is the kind of wine that likes decanting though if you fancy.