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What our expert thought of Brightwell, Oxford Gold




the tasting

The Tasting


As the name suggests, this is a lovely medium gold colour.  There’s no hints of green here.
 
The aromatic, medium+ nose is filled with wildflower scents, overlaying ripe tropical fruits – pineapple and mango, along with some baked apple.  There’s a distinct impression of honey, too.  Despite that the wine doesn’t smell all that sweet.
 
And it isn’t.  It’s off-dry, with such beautifully balancing acidity that the sweetness is barely noticeable.  The flavours are ripe but not over-ripe, of green Galia melon and yellow Rocha pears, with peach coming through on the after-palate.  This is about as weighty as English wine gets, though in absolute terms it’s only medium-bodied.
 
The peachy fruits are joined by gingery spice on the mouthwatering, persistent finish, which ends on a flinty note.
 
(Spandau Ballet and Ginger Spice… how much more English can you get?)


Assessment


Your typical English still white isn’t like this.  Most of them are lighter, dryer and even sharper, all elderflower, lemon and grapefruit.  Yet this succulent number somehow manages to be true to its grape, its vintage, and its Oxfordshire origins.
 
Granted, it is German wine that exemplifies the thrilling balance between sweetness and acidity that this wine does so well, and this is an aromatic German grape.  Still it manages to taste English, with a gunflint-y scent to the empty glass that is more reminiscent of Loire Pouilly-Fumé than Mosel Riesling.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium gold
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas floral (wildflowers), tropical fruit (pineapple, mango), baked apple, honey

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness off-dry

Acidity high-

Body medium, just

Intensity medium

Flavours tropical fruit (Galia melon), stone fruit (peach), yellow orchard fruit (Rocha pear)
Finish

Length medium+

Flavours as palate, sweet spice (ginger), ends on gunflint (also empty glass)
Other notes
Unoaked. Terrific tension between acidity & sweetness.


Decanting Club expert
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