| Nik Darlington

Why did Black Chalk make two versions of their 2018 Classic?

Good morning Jacob! So, why two versions of the same vintage?

Jacob: Yes, why would anyone do that?! I knew I wasn't going to make wine in 2019 as the project was moving to a new phase [acquiring their own vineyards and building the new winery]. So in 2018, I went out and sourced double the amount of fruit and created two wines for both the Classic and Wild Rose.

Were you getting the grapes from the same sources in Hampshire?

Jacob: All the fruit came from Hampshire and mostly from our original source but we also added a few parcels from other chalk soil vineyards locally.

So you had more grapes to turn into wine, were they very different coming into the winery, prompting the different versions?

Jacob: No, rather than make two very similar wines we decided to experiment a little and produce a blend that was almost 100% malo* and another that was more similar to the previous wines and around 40% or less malo. We were particularly interested in the secondary fermentation and autolytic profiles of each wine as they developed in bottle and it has been interesting to follow.

What has that meant for how the wine tastes?

Jacob: Version two being close to 100% malo has developed much quicker in bottle, producing a softer but very pure example of Hampshire sparkling wine and one we are very happy with.

Buy Black Chalk Classic Version II 2018 here.


*What is "malo"? In short, this is where malic acid is converted to softer lactic acid and usually occurs after the primary alcoholic fermentation.

It's what makes those soft, buttery white wines soft and buttery.


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