Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged 2007

This is amazing. One of the best sparkling wines I’ve tried from the UK. It has been aged on its lees for 70 months. It shows what’s possible in England with a bit of extra time on lees, especially with Chardonnay. I understand the economics, but too many wines are being released before they’ve really [...]

Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2010, another fine English sparkling wine

I’m getting quite excited by the progress of English sparkling wine. Here’s another good one. Gusbourne Estate is one of the most highly reputed of the English producers, and they’ve got sizeable vineyard holdings: 40 hectares in Kent and 22 in West Sussex. Gusbourne was founded by Andrew Weeber in 2004, and first vintage was [...]

Hambledon Classic Cuvee, a brilliant new English sparkling wine

Hambledon Vineyard has history. It was established in 1952, the first of the new era vineyards in the UK. The village of Hambledon is also the cradle of the sport of cricket.

Hambledon Vineyard was bought by Ian Kellett in 1999, and he decided fairly soon on that the future for England is sparkling wine. He [...]

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’ [...]