Downton delight for fans of TV series and a glass of wine

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

MILLIONS who tune in to ITV drama Downton Abbey dream of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by Lord and Lady Grantham.

Most will never get close to the world of the Edwardian aristocracy but the Oxford Wine Company is now offering a taste of the era to customers across the country.

It has been granted sole UK distribution rights for Downton Abbey Blanc and Downton Abbey Claret, which have been produced to mark the relaunch of the fifth series.

Filming on the next series began in Bampton yesterday and the latest instalments will appear on TV screens in the autumn.

The head of fine wine at the Oxford Wine Company, Theo Sloot, said the wines were in the style of those enjoyed by the great and good of England at the start of the 20th century.

He said: “The wines are made in the famed Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux, France, by fifth generation wine maker Jean-Marc Delong, whose ancestors might well have made the very wines enjoyed at Downton.

“The red is a fruity red in part because of the grapes used in it.

“Malbec was used prior to the 1950s in Bordeaux and it has been put in to make the wine taste like what was drunk in the time of Downton.

“The white has a very fresh style and is a bit more modern, fresh, zesty and citrussy. It’s very refreshing.”

The red wine, Downton Abbey Claret 2012, is made from 70 per cent Merlot, 25 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and five per cent Malbec grapes and is said to taste of wild berry, fruit and spice with a hint of violets.

The white, Downton Abbey Blanc 2012, is made from 70 per cent Muscadelle and 30 per cent Semillon grape varieties and has hints of tangerine and lemon citrus notes.

Downton Abbey spokesman Dominc Burns said: “We’re thrilled to be extending the Downton Abbey brand further with the introduction of two wines which have sold incredibly well in the United States.

“It’s an added bonus that it will be distributed through the Oxford Wine Company, as Oxfordshire has been a key filming location for the series.”

Both cost £12.99 a bottle and are available from the Oxford Wine Company, which is based in Standlake and has a branch in Botley Road, Oxford.

West Oxfordshire district councillor for Bampton and Clanfield, Martin Barrett, said: “Downton has brought a lot of money into the village and is helping the local shops.

“We see people from far and wide coming to Bampton because of its association with Downton and long may it continue.”

He added: “The launch of a wine can only be good news because it builds the brand and spreads the word about Bampton.”

RED:

Oxford Mail:

Rev Wayne Thomas and Helen Thomas

It’s certainly the best drink I’ve had today. It really is rather pleasant The Rev Wayne Thomas, 57, right, from Littleworth Score – 9/10; I’m not an expert on wine but I do quite like this. I definitely think I would buy it again. It’s easy to drink and very tasty Helen Thomas, 47, a from Chippenham Score- 8/10

Oxford Mail:

I can’t pretend to be a wine connoisseur but I like it. It’s not acidic and it has a smooth taste and is suitably sweet Dr Katy Walsh, 30, from Faringdon Score – 8/10

WHITE:

Oxford Mail:

  • Gemma Anderson, Kerry Pitts and Pam Dowley

I don’t like it. It’s a bit too dry for me. Then again I don’t know much about wine so maybe I would like it more after a glass or two if I got used to the taste Gemma Anderson, 33, from Bampton Score- 6/10

I like it a lot. I like a dry wine but I don’t like bitter wine, which I find can be common with whites Kerry Pitts, 40, from Bampton Score – 9/10

I think it is quite good and I would like to buy it as a present for someone. I can see it being very popular at Christmas time and to give to friends or relatives on special occasions Pam Dowley, 70, from Bampton Score – 8/10

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