In 1933, viticulturist Peter Morio created a new grape variety he called the Bacchus, in honour of the Roman god of agriculture and wine. In 1972, the grape received varietal protection and was released to vintners to grow and harvest.
Since then, the Bacchus grape has become the Sauvignon Blanc of England. The wine was created by a cross of Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner. Some experts believe that Riesling was also part of the blend. The Bacchus has a high sugar content, so it is often blended with other white wines.
Bolney Estates has created the Bolney Bacchus that has slight peppery flavours, a light lemon colour, and light minty aromas. The slightly dry wine has a light fruity finish that is clean and delicious.
The Bolney Bacchus deserves to be the Wine of the Week because of its amazing quality and flavour and its affordability. It is a complex and clean white wine that is perfect with fish, lamb, and curries. It’s taste, while clean, is not weak.It is this strength of flavour that allows this wonderful wine to stand up to even the most bold of flavours. Dare we say, this is a wine that will pair nicely with bangers and mash and bold Italian dishes.
The colder climate of England increases the acidity of the wine and provides lower yields, but great quality. Although derived by crossing a Silvaner x Riesling grape and Müller-Thurgau, the Bacchus is a heartier grape than Riesling varieties, making it ideal for England’s colder, damper climate.
As with many of England’s wineries, Bolney is located in Sussex. The weather and climate is very similar to many of the great wine growing regions of France. The surge of modern winemakers in Sussex and around the UK echoes the Roman times when wines were first produced on the Isles. This new wave of winemakers brings the expertise and experience of the mainland and puts a fantastic English spin on everything, including using a new and fairly obscure grape and creating a new wine for the shelves and tables of the world.
At 11.5% alcohol, this is not the type of wine that you will sip all day long. Instead, this is a lovely dinner wine that will surprise you with its grace and power. It can also be a wonderful follow up to the evening. Served chilled, but not cold, the body of the wine will increase as the temperature increases. It undergoes a slight but noticeable shift in tastes, from a bit of spice to slightly sweeter. You can shop direct from the estate for this wine or at Waitrose Cellar!
Bolney Estates is one of England’s most award-winning vintners, consistently winning in head-to-head contests against wines from all over the world. Their Bacchus is just one of the amazing wines that this formidable wine house produces.
For those of us living in England, Bolney Estates hosts tours that can give you insight into how their wonderful wines are created. After an hour or two at the vineyard, you will likely feel the stress of the city falling away, if not from the environment from the wine. The staff at the winery is inviting. They love to share their passion for wine and everything viniculture.
The Bolney Bacchus is a white wine lover’s dream: balanced and flavourful, exciting, and classy.
In a nutshell
Colour: White Wine
Style: Full-bodied White
Closure: Natural Cork
Flavours: Capsicum, Mint, Dried Fruit
Great with: Curries, Italian dishes, Lamb
Currently available exclusively at Waitrose: