The first wines released from urban winery London Cru

So, the first vintage of London Cru’s wines are bottled and will soon be on the market. [Read my report on them from last year.] I visited this – London’s first urban winery – to try the new wines with winemaker Gavin Monery. It’s also time for vintage two to start coming in, and so [...]

Smith & Evans Higher Plot Pinot Chardonnay 2010 Somerset

Always good to see a new English sparkling wine that’s of top quality. I was really impressed by this. It’s the first crop from a vineyard in Somerset, planted in 2008 by Guy and Laura (the Smith & Evans behind the wine) and you can find out more about it on the Smith & Evans [...]

Three English Sparkling wines: Jenkyn Place, Lagnham, Meon Hill

Three English sparkling wines, all quite new to the scene. The first, Jenkyn Place, comes from a 5 hectare estate on the North Hampshire downs, and the wine is made by Dermot Sugrue, an experienced English sparkling winemaker.

Jenkyn Place Brut 2009 England
12% alcohol. Fresh and tight with lively, precise citrus fruit as well as [...]

The fabulous Dow 1963 plus other special wines

Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was [...]

London Cru, an urban winery in Earls Court

It’s 8 am on a Wednesday morning in September, and I’m in a slightly sketchy part of west London, just down the road from the Earls Court exhibition centre. There’s an articulated lorry waiting in the street.

I think I’ve found what I have been looking for. Yes, tucked in behind a block of council houses, there’s a lock-up [...]

An ambitious high-end English sparkling wine

I was very impressed by this new single-plot English sparkling wine from Nyetimber. It claims to be ‘the first single vineyard sparkling wine from England with all the grapes specifically selected from a single vineyard site’. The idea for this wine was prompted by the discovery of an extraordinary parcel of Pinot noir, and Chardonnay [...]

Another new English sparkling wine, Digby Fine English

Here’s another new English sparkling wine. It’s cleverly branded, and the winemaker is Dermot Sugrue, a specialist sparkling winemaker who worked for Nyetimber for three years. Dermot is now based at Wiston Estate and does contract winemaking for a number of operations. I like this wine a lot, although it’s still pretty primary. Perhaps taking an ’NV’ [...]

In pictures, a photoshoot at Denbies

So I spent this morning with the lovely crew from The Sunday Express S Magazine for a photoshoot, which took place at Denbies, the largest vineyard in the UK. It’s a beautiful settings. I had to wear three different outfits. Including, with one, a hat. It was OK. Last time I did one of these [...]

Some interesting wines at cricket

On Friday I spent the afternoon playing cricket. Yes, more play. Less work. Still striving after the elusive balance. It was for the Wine Trade XI, against a touring Aussie team, Canterbury Cricket Club from Melbourne, at Hampton Wick. In a 40 over game, a relatively strong Wine Trade bowling attack kept them to 157-9, [...]

Ambriel Classic Cuvee, a new English sparkling wine

Now this is interesting. It’s the first release of a new English sparkling wine, called Ambriel. It comes from a 9.5 hectare vineyard in West Sussex, planted as recently as 2008, so this is the first crop from those vines. Considering this, it’s fantastic. It’s a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir and 3% [...]