Ambriel Blanc de Blancs 2010 England

Really impressed with this new release from Ambriel, a sparkling wine producer based in Sussex. It has spent 5.5 years on its lees, and is the first vintage wine that Ambriel have produced. They have 9.5 hectares on south-facing free-draining greensand soils.

Ambriel Blanc de Blancs 2010 England
11% alcohol. From south-facing slopes in the South Downs. [...]

English Sparkling Wine 2017: my new report

Today I launch my English Sparkling Wine Report 2017. There’s been a lot of interest in the progress of English sparkling wine over recent years, and I have been busy trying as many of them as possible. I thought that it would be useful to gather all my notes together in one place, and attempt [...]

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé, one of England's finest

This is really good. It’s 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir, with 95% of 2014 and 5% reserve wines, and retails at £35 in the UK. Dosage is 10 g/litre.

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV England
12% alcohol. This is quite special. An attractive salmon pink with orange hues, it has aromas of lemons, sour cherries and cranberries, [...]

A couple of English still wines from Flint Vineyard

This is an interesting pair of wines from newcomer Flint Vineyard. England is best known for sparkling wines, and rightly so. Could there also be a future for still wines? I’m not convinced they show as much promise, but these wines are pretty good. Ben and Hannah Witchell established Flint Vineyard in Norfolk. The east [...]

Chapel Down Kit's Coty wines, including the £100 Coeur de Cuvée

These are some new releases from Chapel Down, one of the UK’s largest wineries. Chapel Down make very good sparkling and still wines, and they fulfil an important function: they are big enough to supply supermarkets and chains, but they produce quality wines that are well made and accessible. But they are also ambitious, and [...]

The new non-vintage Classic Cuvée from Nyetimber

Popped into Waitrose yesterday and picked up a bottle of this: the new non-vintage Classic Cuvée from England’s most famous sparkling wine producer, Nyetimber (it’s currently on offer at £25, which makes it a very good buy).

They’ve made the very wise move to shift from a vintage model for their main production wine to a [...]

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut Rosé 2013

I was really impressed by this pink fizz from Hush Heath. It’s really elegant.

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut 2013 Kent, England
2013 was a late harvest here: Pinot began on 22 October, and Chardonnay came in on 7 November. The result is a wine with a very pale salmon pink in colour, and showing beautiful balance. [...]

Three from Hoffmann & Rathbone, impressive English wines

Really enjoyed these three from Hoffmann & Rathbone, a high-quality negotiant operation based in Sussex.

Hoffmann & Rathbone Classic Cuvée Brut 2010 Sussex, England
60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier. 12% alcohol, 10 g/l TA, 7 g/l dosage. Debut vintage from Ulrich Hoffmann. Very bright and focused with pithy, tight lemon and grapefruit characters. There’s [...]

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 [...]