English Sparkling Wine Reviews
Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus 2018 - £18
Tasting Notes: On initial whiff, distinct elderflower with a dollop of honey. I can report that it was fruity yes, but still dry.
It’s a refreshing drink with soft, light bubbles. Not like those big harsh ones you get from a cheap Prosecco. All too gluggable, the boyfriend and I knocked it back far too easily.
What don't Chapel Down do? Not only do they make award winning English wines but gin and beer as well. If you are ever stuck in Ashford then a visit to their restaurant and brewery is compulsory.
The Grange Classic 2015 - £31
Grape: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Light brioche and apple aromas. The Classic is 55% Chardonnay but I could taste plenty of red fruit from the two Pinots, Meunier and Noir, which is delicately balanced in equal measure with light toasted notes from the time spent on lees.
The wine is made at Hattingley Valley winery and we love it. The Grange is a family affair with four siblings at the helm, they manage fifty-two thousand vines in the idyllic Hampshire download. Sounds like a lot of vines to me. Well done team!
Furleigh Estate Sparkling Rosé NV - £30.99
Grape: 46% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier
Tasting Notes: This rosé carries a nuance of freshly baked scones with strawberries and cream, yes really. A jolly wine with a touch of sweetness and a vibrant acidity.
Proudly making Dorest wines from Dorset grapes, all of their still wines are current silver medal winners.
Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV- £34.99
Grape: 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Lovely amber pink in colour, plenty of crunch cherries, raspberries, white choclate on the nose and red fruits in depth on the palate. The finish is rich and yeasty for those who prefer the Champagne style. Julia Harding of Jancisrobinson.com likes it: "Excellent fruit depth, just a little bit of feel sweetness on the finish so you get a sweet/sour Victoria plum finish and a slight boiled-sweets (hard-candy) after-effect. 16.5/20"
Hambledon is England's oldest commercial vineyard, planted in 1952. It now comprises of over 200 acres of vineyards and the only gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery in the UK.
Coolhurst Single Vineyard, Lady Elizabeth Sparkling Rosé 2016 - £42
Region: West Sussex
Grape: Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: So, so tasty. The aromas are full of baked custard and raspberry. On the palate are dancing strawberry bubbles giving way to a zesty pink grapfruit finish, Lady Elizabeth is certainly a woman of good taste and sophistication.
To quote Coolhurst website: "Lady Elizabeth is the first in a series of very limited production, single varietal wines". But what quality! Cousins Will and Charlie know what they're doing and I can't wait to try their Provencal rosé.
Wiston Estate Cuvée 2009
Region: West Sussex
Grape: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Tasting Notes: Wow this is some good stuff. The juice had 7.5 years on the lees (!). The result, a delicate toasted almond nose, the palate light and buttery, silky soft and dancing bubbles all the way down the glass.
This award winner (IWSC – Gold (Outstanding) 2018 & Drinks Business Global Sparkling Masters Gold, 2018) is for special occasions and to be shared with your closest wine allies.
Harrow & Hope Blanc de Noirs 2015 - £30-49.99
(Gold Award Winner WineGB Awards 2020)
Region: Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Grape: Pinot Noir 70%, Pinot Meunier 30%
Tasting Notes: On the nose - baked cherries, cloves, nutmeg. Perfectly balanced palate - complex, linear driving acidity - holy crap it's good! No wonder it won GOLD AWARD! After 40 months on the lees this is wine is one to treasure and can be kept to improve even, well into 2021.
Harrow & Hope is a family affair, a small knit team who have been running their winery for 7 years on the chalk soils behind Marlow.
Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée 2014 -£35
(Best In Show 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards)
Region: Petlow, West Sussex
Grape: Chardonnay 47%, Pinot Noir 38%, Pinot Meunier 15%
Tasting Notes: Well well well. If you still don't believe that English sparkling wine deserves a place on the world stage, then talk to me when you've tried the Roebuck 2014. This is for fans of Champagne, special occasions and those deserving of a treat. On the nose it is a little smoky with plenty of rich fruit aromas. The acidity is balanced with the sweetness of the fruit and the delicate tongue teasing bubbles. It's hard to find any faults in the creamy textured, brioche and nutty goodness that enfolds.