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 […]

Prosecco Wars: should the Aussies be able to use the name?

There’s an excellent article in the Financial Review by Max Allen discussing whether or not Australian winemakers should be able to use the name Prosecco.

It used to be common for new world countries to label their wines by style, after the famous European wine regions. There’d be Burgundy, Claret and Champagne, usually made from completely […]

Raventós i Blanc Textures de Pedra Blanc de Negres 2013

This is a single vineyard wine from Raventós i Blanc. It’s Cava, but labelled as Conca del Rui Anoia because they were disappointed by the quality standards of most Cava producers. This wine is from Vinya Més Alta, which sits at the top of Turó del Serral, the hill on the 90 hecatare estate vineyard. […]

Benjamin Bridge Brut 2012 Nova Scotia, Canada

I’ve written before about the sparkling wines from Nova Scotia producer Benjamin Bridge, which I like a great deal. The climate here is cool but moderated by the Bay of Fundy, with the world’s largest tides (16 metres!), and it enables grapes to reach full flavour ripeness but with high acidity and moderate potential alcohol, […]

Video: an epic tasting of 93 of South Africa's top sparkling wines

To most Brits, MCC refers to the Marylebone Cricket Club and it’s an abbreviation synonymous with this most complex and beguiling of sports (one of the many that we Brits invented – we have a talent for this!). But to wine nuts who’ve taken more than a passing interest in what’s taking place in South […]

Pink bubbles: Cloudy Bay and Gentle Folk

Two bottles of pink fizz that went down well. The Cloudy Bay was a real surprise: encountered on a couple of occasions and really delicious.

Gentle Folk ‘Pink Fizz’ Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pet Nat 2016 Adelaide Hills. Australia
Powerful and funky. Cloudy pale pink with tangy apple, cherry and raspberry, and some spicy phenolic notes. There’s some […]

The wines of Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Italy

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro

As a fan of sparkling wines, I was pleased to get the chance to meet Riccardo Ricci Curbastro and taste through his wines, at a masterclass hosted by Vini Italiani in South Kensington.

The Ricci Curbastro family have been growing grapes in Franciacorta since the 14th century, but sparkling Franciacorta as we now […]

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. […]