Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé

Hambledon is one of the most exciting of all the English sparkling wine producers. They’ve just released their first rosé, and it’s really impressive.

Hambledon Rosé NV Hampshire, England
12% alcohol. 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir (red wine). 95% of 2014 vintage and 5% reserve wines, some aged in barrel. This is beautiful. It has vivid, slightly [...]

ICCWS 2016: Alistair Nesbitt's model for identifying suitable vineyard sites in the UK

Alistair Nesbitt, from the University of East Anglia, has created a model that maps spatial climate variability in the UK, showing the suitability of various areas for viticulture in England and Wales. Over the period 1954-2015 there has been a non-linear warming trend for the growing season, and the amount of variability from season to [...]

The new Exton Park Pinot Meunier Rosé

Had a chance to taste this new varietal Pinot Meunier from Hampshire-based English sparkling wine producer Exton Park, with winemaker Corinne Sealy. She describes Pinot Meunier as ‘a child that has to be well educated.’ She says, ‘it is stubborn.’ In the vineyard they have tried all sorts of ways of growing it, and finally [...]

Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard 2010: an exciting new release (with video)

Nyetimber, one of the UK’s most celebrated sparkling wine producers, has released the new vintage of its Tillington Single Vineyard, the 2010. At around £75 a bottle, this is ambitiously priced, but the debut 2009 was very well received. I reviewed it back in September 2013. So, how is the 2010? I think it’s quite [...]

Why English Sparkling Wine producers need to export

There’s a lot of excitement about English sparkling wine at the moment. Justifiably so. But there is one small cloud on the horizon.

It’s called route to market. Soon, because of all the new vineyards that have been planted over the last decade, there will be quite a bit of wine that needs selling. And the [...]

Some reflections on ProWein 2016: bubbly Brits, grower Champagne, Canada, Provence and Grenache

ProWein is a massive wine and spirits fair, held each year in Dusseldorf, Germany. It’s enormous. 6200 exhibitors, and 55 000 trade visitors. I’ve just returned, and these are some of my impressions. But it’s impossible for any one person to be able to give anything more than a personal perspective gained by merely scratching [...]

More on the proposals for a Sussex PDO

A glass of Sussex anyone? I’ve written before about the proposals for a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO; basically, an appellation) for Sussex wine. It’s an issue that has raised its head again with a recent article in the Telegraph. The proposed Sussex PDO is a big problem, and it could be a major hindrance [...]

Wiston Estate Cuvée Rosé NV England - impressive pink fizz

I was very impressed by this pink English sparkling wine. It’s a non-vintage blend made by Dermot Sugrue. It’s 50% Pinot Noir (about 12% of this is red wine for colour), 40% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay. Base wines are mostly stainless steel fermented, but there are some old barrels used, too. The base vintage [...]

More Christmas wines: the English contribution

These were three English wines that took part in yesterday’s festivities. The first two were served blind.

Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée NV Hampshire, England
Tasted blind I reckoned this was a fine Blanc de Blancs – either a grower Champagne or English! Very fine, bright and lemony with lovely acidity. Pure and refined with amazing clean, sharp [...]

Taittinger becomes the first Champagne house to buy vineyards in England

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, Patrick McGrath and Westminster Abbey archivist Tony Trowles at today’s press conference

English sparkling wine has been a talking point for a while now. There’s no doubting that there is some very good English fizz being made, as the recent Noble Rot tasting showed. But today there was a further boost to the [...]