2005 was another ideal year for English winegrowers. An early spring led on to good flowering conditions and the summer was by and large a good one. The autumn, although starting cool, warmed up in late September and remained warm and dry until the end of October which gave ideal picking conditions. The grapes were harvested over two days, October 10th and the 24th, and a total of 21,528 kg were picked. The Pinot Noir yielded at 6.6 tonnes/acre, the Chardonnay at 4.5 tonnes/acre and the Pinot Meunier, which were in their first real year of cropping, a respectable 1.58 tonnes/acre. This produced a final blend which is 52% Pinot Noir, 44% Chardonnay and 4% Pinot Meunier.
Sugar and acid levels were again ideal for sparkling wine with the Chardonnay at 9.8% potential alcohol and 10.5 g/l acidity, the Pinot Noir at 8.6% and 13 g/l and the Pinot Meunier at 9.8% and 8.5 g/l.
The Pinot Noir yielded 2.7 kg/vine at a potential alcohol of 9.8% and an acidity (as tartaric) of 11 g/l. The Chardonnay yielded 2 kg/vine at a potential alcohol of 10.5% alcohol with the same level of acidity. These technical figures are almost identical to those to be found in Champagne, a sure sign that the choice of site, varieties, clones and rootstocks was a good one. The base wine was blended in June 2005 and the 2004 vintage is 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay.
The launch batch of the 2004 vintage was disgorged in September 2006 after 16 months on the lees. The wine was slightly sweetened at the disgorging stage with grape-based liquid sugar to a level of 7 g/l sweetness and the final wine has an alcohol level of 12.5%.