Located close to the quintessential English market town of Petworth in West Sussex, Roebuck Estates was established in 2013 by long-standing friends Michael Smith and John Ball whose love of wine and belief in the potential of the English wine industry sparked several years spent searching for the perfect vineyard plots.
Roebuck Estates has since judiciously collated a clutch of exceptional sites across Sussex, each with their own unique terroir and attributes. Together they form a cannily arranged marriage of vineyards planted by themselves in combination with established sites possessing proven track records, such as its Roman Villa and Upperton vineyards which are serenely edging towards fifteen years of age.
‘Our sites have a little bit of everything, from Wealden clay to greensand, through to spots of chalk and flint, plus everything in between,’ explains Roebuck Estates’ vineyard manager, Jake Wicks. ‘This huge variety gives us the optionality of taste profiles in our base wines and allows us to be incredibly exacting when piecing together the finished blends.’
Wicks heads a highly experienced vineyard team at Roebuck Estates, and this dedicated crew’s efforts are realised in three wines: its Classic Cuvée, a Blanc de Noirs and a limited-release Rosé de Noirs which comprises 95% Pinot Noir complemented by a dash of Pinot Précoce.
Unadulterated Pinot Noir comes in the form of Roebuck Estate’s Blanc de Noirs, with the hand-picked fruit coming exclusively from the Roman Villa vineyard. The flagship, however, is the Classic Cuvée, most notably the 2014 edition which, having already garnered lofty ratings and trophies around the world, has recently scaled new heights with its Best in Show and Platinum medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. ‘Our Classic Cuvée will always be an expression of a particular vintage,’ says Mead. ‘It will also always incorporate the three famed Champenoise varietals but be dominated by Chardonnay, with a percentage of the juice being fermented in Burgundian oak barrels for texture and richness.’
By design this select triumvirate of wines is presently the sole focus of Roebuck Estates: ‘It is firmly our belief that to achieve vinous greatness we must look first to our vines and do everything in our power to grow the finest, most complex fruit,’ explains Mead. However, the introduction of further wines is far from off the table, although such decisions will largely be dictated by the nature of future vintages: ‘Every year throws up surprises,’ he says. ‘There is bound to be a natural evolution of our wines, but this is something which we welcome and genuinely excites us’. The team at Roebuck also have their sights firmly set on selling their multi-award-winning wines all over the world, recently establishing relationships with premium partners in the UK, Hong Kong and Massachusetts, USA.
The multi-award winning Roebuck Estates wines are available to buy by the bottle and case through their online shop at www.roebuckestates.co.uk.