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 some apple and pear notes. Taut, pithy and nicely focused with fruit dominating the palate. Ripe and fresh at the same time, showing good purity. 90/100
This new wine won the ‘Judgement of Parson’s Green’ this year, a blind tasting of 94 English sparkling wines carried out by a star studded panel. I reckon they screwed up. It’s good, but not among the very best of English sparkling wines. However, this bottle was from a later disgorgement, and so may be a little different.
Langham Classic Cuvée Brut 2010 Dorset Quality English Sparkling Wine
12% alcohol. Lively and fruity with keen lemony acidity underpinning a creamy, toasty palate showing rich apple and white peach notes. The contrast between the ripe fruit and the searing acidity is marked, and the strongly creamy, almost dairy softness in the middle is quite pronounced, too. Impressive but I don’t find it all that harmonious. 88/100
Meon Hill was established by a Champagne grower, Didier Pierson, in 2004. He found an ideal terroir in the South Downs, planted 11 hectares with the Champagne trellising system (the first to do so) and his first wine was bottled in 2009. Recently, Meon Hill was taken over by the ambitious Hambledon Vineyards, and Didier retained as a consultant.
Meon Hill Brut Grande Reserve NV Hampshire
12% alcohol. Full yellow colour. Rich, fruit driven and a bit toasty with citrus and green apple fruit. Keen and lively showing good acidity. Nice notes of herbs and subtle toast. Full flavoured. 90/100 (Available from Red Squirrel Wines)
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