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. [...]

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 [...]

Video: bottling sparkling wine on a mobile disgorging line

 

 

When I was in Canada last month I had a chance to watch Viniserve’s mobile disgorging line in operation. Disgorging is a vital stage in the life of a sparkling wine. It’s the point when the dead yeast cells (from the secondary fermentation that creates the bubbles) are expelled. A process called riddling has localised [...]

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 [...]

Benjamin Bridge Brut 2011 Nova Scotia, Canada

Had another opportunity to try this beauty. I visited Benjamin Bridge last year, and I’m really impressed with what they are doing. These wines have very high acidity, so they won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but I think they are serious, and will get better with the viticultural and winemaking changes that have been implemented.

Benjamin [...]

UK sparkling wine sales continue to soar

New data released today show that in the last 12 weeks of 2016, in the run up to Christmas, 45 million bottles of sparkling wine were sold in the UK. In shops and supermarkets, sales were 40 million (up 12% on the previous year’s data), while 5 million bottles were sold in restaurants and bars. [...]

Canadian wine at the Vancouver wine fest: sparkling wine

There’s a buzz around sparkling wine at the moment. Sparkling wine sales account for 11% of global wine sales and this market is growing by 4.5% annually. And it’s something that Canada has a talent for, with its cool climate wine regions.

This seminar, moderated by Dr Janet Dorozynski, looked at Canadian sparkling wine. Of late [...]

Two interesting NZ wines at Shop Eight, Christchurch

Had a lovely evening with a few colleagues at Shop Eight in Christchurch. These two wines were really interesting. The alternative face of New Zealand wine.

Cambridge Road The Naturalist 2016 Nelson, New Zealand
11.5% alcohol. This pet nat is made from organically grown grapes from Nelson. It’s cloudy and beautifully expressive with a bit of spicy bite. Fresh [...]