English Wine Sparkles





"In England's green and pleasant Land"
 
The prophetic poetry of William Blake has never been more apt following the plethora of gold medals that rained down on England’s vineyards at the 2014 International Wine Challenge in May. The soils in England’s southern counties of Sussex, Kent and Cornwall are alive with Blake’s sentiment after five sparkling wines were garlanded with the highest honour at the ‘Oscars of the Wine Trade’, further cementing England’s flourishing winemaking reputation at home and abroad. As our vineyards celebrate a bumper 2013 harvest we take a look at some of our finest and most critically-acclaimed producers…
 
 
"Good soil, good grapes and good producers – no wonder the French are a little worried about the progress of English wines…" The Guardian
 
 
Chapel Down
 
“A stalwart English sparkling wine producer…this pioneering estate is one of the finest in the land…” Mail on Sunday
 
Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut £18.99
 
An absolute belter from sunny Kent, one of England’s premier wine growing regions, that is elegantly approachable and deliciously refreshing. Perfect as an aperitif, the nose has notes of red apple, lemon grass and fresh bread and this crisp and biscuity fizz has all the qualities of a fine Champagne.
 
What the critics say:
 
"Multi-award-winning, made in Kent by the méthode champenoise and full of bright, green-fruit flavours, it is a fabulous example of the remarkable sparkling wines being made in England." Independent on Sunday
 
Awards:
Commended, International Wine Challenge 2014
Bronze, Decanter World Wine Awards 2013
Bronze, International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
 
 
 
Chapel Down Three Graces 2008 £20.99
 
A wonderful English sparkler made from three of the greatest sparkling wine grapes - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier - that have produced an elegant bottle of bubbles with balance and finesse. A subtle array of flavours from lemon sherbet to brioche and fresh bread characters, the palate has delicacy and depth which leads to a rich finish.
 
What the critics say: 

“Another blend of the three classic champagne grapes, this shows lovely precision, the flavours of apple, citrus pith and lemon, as well as subtle hints of brioche. Impressive stuff.” Sunday Express
 
Awards:
Commended, International Wine Challenge 2014
Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2013, 2012
 
 
Gusbourne Estate
 
"Gusbourne Estate has become a standard-bearer of high quality English sparkling wine." Berry Bros & Rudd
 
Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2009 £24.99
 
The 2009 vintage was one of the greatest England has seen and this is one of the principal protagonists behind that acclaim. The vines responsible for this distinguished wine hail from Kent, where the warm summers and cooling North Sea breeze provide optimum conditions for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to thrive. Citrusy, apple-esque beauty from perhaps the most championed producer in the country.
 
What the critics say:
 
"The summer celebration drink should now be an English sparkling wine, since their flavours embody sunshine and countryside, with subtle hints of meadows and wildflowers. Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this recent award-winner from Kent has become complex and savoury from ageing." The Independent
 
Awards:
Gold, International Wine Challenge 2014
English Wine Producer of the Year, IWSC 2013
 
 
 
Gusbourne Sparkling Rosé 2010 £30
 
Gusbourne Estate sits on the low slopes of the ancient Kentish escarpment at Appledore and the entire setup consists exclusively of south facing slopes that maximise the exposure to the sun. This is subsequently a perfect taste of England’s optimum terroir; clean on the nose with youthful strawberry aromas, the palate is dry with delicate rose water and blossom hints.
 
What the critics say:
 
"If you are strong-minded enough to resist the champagne cliché, what are the alternatives? Well, there's English fizz, such as the very attractive Gusbourne Sparkling Rosé 2010.” The Guardian
 
Awards:
Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 [2009 vintage]
Bronze, International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013 [2009 vintage]
Bronze, International Wine Challenge 2013 [2009 vintage]
 
 
Nyetimber
 
"The vineyard which first showed how to produce a sophisticated English sparkler." The Independent
 
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, 2009 £30
 
Nyetimber was the first producer of English sparkling wine to craft wines made exclusively from the three grape varieties found in Champagne, and this perfectly pale gold bottle of bubbles has a delicate poise and exceptional clarity. A wonderfully long finish smacks of peachy flavours to complete this expertly balanced and well-structured English fizz.
 
What the critics say:
 
“Absolutely delicious, wonderful, golden hue….citrusy bouquet and pleasing aromatic dryness on the palate…” Wall Street Journal 
 
Awards:
Gold, International Wine Challenge 2014
Bronze, Decanter World Wine Awards 2013
 
 

Nyetimber Sparkling Rosé 2009 £41.50

A delicious English rosé with lovely tiny bubbles and vibrant hints of red cherry flavours. Beautifully intense with a lovely rounded yet elegantly soft texture, the finish is full of flavour and lengthy. This fine English sparkling wine has surpassed many of its French counterparts at blind tastings.

What the critics say:
 
“The best English sparkling rosé I have tried.” The Telegraph Magazine
 
Awards:
Gold, International Wine Challenge 2013
 
 
 
 

 
Article first appeared in Under the Skin Magazine, Summer Edition 2014. CellarVie Wines' quarterly print publication accompanies all orders on www.cellarviewines.com 
 

  

  
 

Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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