“Vibrating, fresh core, with lemon verbena, Asian pear and a chalky minerality. Amazing drive throughout the very long finish.” Gold Medal – IWC 2019
Not a bad accolade to achieve from a respected authority on wine the world over such as the IWC. Even more impressive is that Raimes, located in the tranquil village of Tichborne near Winchester, were awarded their Gold Medal for the 2014 vintage of their ‘Classic’ blend upon its first ever release.
Part of this success is undoubtedly down to the fact that the wine receives 32 months lees ageing prior to disgorgement. The law in Champagne only requires wines to receive 15 months lees ageing before being released for sale but the longer a wine receives the more it will develop the seductively rich brioche character that defines truly exceptional traditional method sparkling wine.
Wines such as Bollinger R.D. can receive as much as 12 years on their lees before release, but they do come at a three figure premium. Which is another element of Raimes which makes them so attractive. The wines range from £37.99 to £49.99 and I’d be confident in them not only standing up to similarly priced Champagne but showing them up as well.
We’ve now tasted them on three separate occasions, most recently at the vineyard itself just a few days ago, and we’re utterly convinced of their quality having been beyond impressed on each occasion.
The only imaginable downside is the rigamarole of choosing a favourite, each having its own individual charm and appeal.