We popped into Renegade Wine Bar for the preview event of London Wine Week and got the chance to sample some of their offerings, as well as preview some “works in process”.
Renegade Wine Bar is an urban winery that is firmly rooted in London. Launched in March 2016 by owner Warwick Smith and New Zealand winemaker Josh Hammond, everything from the pressing of the grapes to the fermentation and bottling is done in the Bethnal Green archway venue, with ageing carried out in the crypts of Christ Church down the road in Spitalfields. Read our article about Renegade Wine Bar for further insight into this unique and headstrong winery.
TASTING NOTES: RENEGADE WINE
A fully English wine with grapes hailing from Herefordshire. 40% of the wine is made in a Quevri – a Georgian winemaking vessel resembling a huge concrete egg on logs – whilst the rest is blended in a stainless steel, temperature regulated tank. It is naturally fermented with airbourne London yeasts.
Light, bright and decidedly summery, white fruit hits the palate but remains clean and fresh with a zesty citric twang.
2016 Blanc de Noirs – London Sparkling (PREVIEW)
The first Champagne-method English Sparkling wine made in London, this white uses two red grape varieties from Suffolk – Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – that have been hand-harvested and whole bunch pressed manually using a 100 litre wooden basket press. Double fermented with the first process in ex-Burgundy Chardonnay French oak, followed by secondary bottled fermentation, only 800 bottles have been produced and will come with a Certificate of Ownership when ready, which the boys estimate to be around late-2018. Whilst not yet ready and costing £100, there has been no shortage of interest, with many already pre-ordered. Warwick and Josh open a bottle every month to see how the wine is progressing and give purchasers a sneaky preview of the undisgorged (lees still in bottle) product, although they are adamant that they will be the ones to tell the buyers when it’s ready.
Toasty and full with a light bitterness, gentle fizz and a high note of lime, this is an intriguing work in progress that will get become closer to the classic champagne taste the more contact the wine has with the dead yeast cell sin the bottles.
2017 Nat Fizz
A natural wine made from Tempranillo, Syrah and Grenache blend from Spanish and Italian grapes that has a natural fizz to it due to being bottled before the end of the first fermentation. This results in it being a cloudy pink.
A fruity expression with juicy raspberry and a good deal of sweetness. Definitely a summer wine to be quaffed super chilled.
2017 Bacchus on Skins
Another “full English”, this time done in the Orange wine style. IT has been fermented for 60 days on the skins in an oak barrel, followed by further ageing for 4 months.
A funky but approachable, intro to orange wine, that smells like peach but tastes like clementine. Not one for hardcore orange wine fans but with enough character to introduce a newbie to the category.
Renegade will be taking part in London Wine Week 2018. For more information about LWW events, click here.
Renegade Wine Bar, Arch 12, Gales Gardens, London E2 0EJ