Sommelier turned winemaker Sergio Verrillo, and his wife Lynsey run this London-based urban winery specialising in cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They source fruit for their wines from growers all within a few hours of the city, and vinify under a railway arch in Battersea. Established in 2017.
Following graduation from Plumpton College with a degree in 'Viticulture & Oenology' Sergio became a travelling winemaker to learn his craft. This led to working vintages in California, Burgundy, South Africa and New Zealand. Now settled back in the capital, Black Book have been making waves with their carefully made, unique and distinctive wines – and earning accolades in the process from many industry professionals. This is English still wine at the top of it's game.
The foundation for the wines is the sourcing of the best possible fruit and they have carefully selected a handful of growers who care as much about this from a range of English terroir across the South East.
Sergio has a real appreciation for classic winemaking methods which is reflected in his techniques.
Overall a minimalist approach with indigenous yeast for primary and malolactic fermentations and where possible, low to zero sulphur use. And so in the cellar the philosophy is simple – tradition with innovation where appropriate.
A majority of the wines are fermented in old french oak between 228L to 500L sizes with a small portion in steel tank. All of the wines are aged "sur lie" for a minimum of 6 months. Wines are generally bottled unfiltered, unfined.
From the warm 2018 vintage. Fruit sourced from the Clayhill Vineyard in Essex.
20% new oak was incorporated in the vinification from a large new burgundy barrel. This has given the wine some subtle oak character, whilst embracing and lifting the fruit.
A nose of citrus, nuts and tropical fruit. There is a wonderful grapefruit emphasis on the palette with an underlying smoke and flint character. This all wrapped in a lean mineral core with elements of citrus and salinity on a long finish.
10 year ageing potential.