Champagne Pommery's English sparkling wine

This is the first English sparkling wine launched by a Champagne producer. It’s the result of a partnership between Champagne Pommery and Hampshire-based winery Hattingley Valley. The wine is named Louis Pommery, which is Pommery’s new brand for its non-Champagne sparklers, which now also include a Californian wine. The Pommery chef de cave Theirry Gasco […]

Gusbourne Brut 2014, one of England's finest

This is the latest release of the Brut Reserve from Gusbourne, one of the UK’s top sparkling wine producers. 2014 saw an early budburst with good weather through to the end of June. This is always the critical bit of the vintage in the UK because good flowering means good yields, and in this year […]

The UK's first amphora wine? And it's pretty good

Tried this, from Westwell. I think it’s the UK’s first amphora wine, and it’s really good. There’s something about amphora wines that is quite textural and interesting, when they are done well.

Westwell Naughty Hare Amphora Ortega 2016 England
12.5% alcohol. From the chalky slopes of the North Downs, this Ortega was was fermented in a terracotta […]

The long-awaited first sparkling wines from Rathfinny, Sussex, UK

Mark Driver, owner, Rathfinny

Today, after lots of anticipation, the first sparkling wines from Rathfinny were launched. It’s an ambitious project, and one that has been much talked about, and so it was great to finally get to taste these wines. The long and short of it is that they are very good, and this […]

English wine is doing well, but four notes of caution...

It’s an exciting time for English wine, and in particular for English sparkling wine. The latest statistics from the Wine Standards Board show that in 2017 there were 1677 hectares cropping, and the total planting area is 2245 hectares. The average production over the last five years has been 5 million bottles a year. This […]

Some new English sparkling wines: Jenkyn Place, Ashling Park, Leckford, Westwell and South Ridge

Some notes on five very good English sparkling wines recently tasted.

Jenkyn Place Classic Cuvée Brut 2013 Hampshire, England
Jenkyn Place is a 12 acre vineyard on the south facing slope of the North Downs in Hampshire. It produces just sparkling wines from the classic Champagne varieties, and the first vines were planted 13 years ago, so […]

Two lovely sparkling wines from Langham, Dorset

Very impressed with these English sparkling wines, from chalky soils in Dorset.

Langham Rosé 2014 Dorset, England
12% alcohol. From Cretaceous chalk soils in Dorset, this is a blend of the classic Champagne varieties. It’s an attractive light pink colour, and shows taut, compact cherry and citrus fruit with a hint of red apple and just a […]

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, […]