Chapel Down branches out into brandy

English wine producer Chapel Down has branched out into spirits with the release of a 23-year-old brandy made from grapes grown in Kent.

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The £150 brandy is crafted from Seyval Blanc from the 1991 vintage at Lamberhurst Estate in Kent and has been aged for 23 years in French oak.

Back in 1991, Lamberhurst was owned by former Formula One racing driver Kenneth McAlpine. The 36.7% abv spirit was distilled in 1992 by Julian Temperley in Somerset. Just 2,000 bottles have been made.

“This is a magnificent and unique brandy made from one of England’s pioneering vineyards that has exclusively supplied Chapel Down for 20 years,” said Chapel Down’s managing director Mark Harvey.

“Like all good things, it has taken time, patience and skill to make something of which we are very proud,” he added.

According to its makers, the brandy boasts “warming aromas of stewed fruit, dark honey and liquorice”, a “velvety mouthfeel”, and “a complex palate of caramelised baked apples, cinnamon and spice”.

Spirits writer Neil Ridley described it as having “all the hallmarks of a complex Armagnac or Calvados, but with its own personality”.

Bottles of Lamberhurst Fine & Rare English grape brandy are individually numbered and come housed in a gift box.

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