Laithwaites Theale Vineyard Sparkling Wine

I was impressed by this. It’s a limited-production sparkling wine from a vineyard at the headquarters of Laithwaites, one of the UK’s most successful wine merchants, located in Theale, near Reading, Berkshire.

There are just 704 Chardonnay vines here, planted in 1998. The 2006 vintage, which I am tasting here, was harvested on October 3rd and [...]

Video: tasting four pink sparkling wines

A short film of me tasting four pink Sparkling wines.

 

The wines:

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut Rosé 2008 England
(£34.99 Waitrose, Bibendumfinewine.com, Slurp.co.uk, Sparklingenglishwine.com)
Freixenet Cava Elyssia Rosé Pinot Noir NV Spain
(£14.99 Waitrose, Tesco)
Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV France
(£25.40 Tanners (http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk, 01743 234500)
Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV South Africa
(£11.99 Slurp.co.uk 0208 [...]

Nice fizz from Laithwaites: Champagne and England

Two impressive sparkling wines from Laithwaites, both of which offer great value for money.

South Ridge English Quality Sparkling Wine 2008 England
12% alcohol. This is made by Ridgeview, one of the UK’s top 3 sparkling wine producers. It’s toasty and quite complex with intense citrus fruit characters as well as some spice and apple notes. There’s [...]

At the sparkling wine symposium

Just back from day 1 of the 2011 instalment of the International Sparkling Wine Symposium, held at Denbies wine estate in Dorking, Surrey.

I’m one of the organizing committee, so it was a day on duty, hoping things went well. Did they? Yes, absolutely. It was a great day.

I can’t hope to summarize proceedings adequately here (I’m tired, [...]

A name for English sparkling wine – the Britagne debate

There has recently been some debate about whether or not English sparkling wine needs a name, prompted by the release of Coates & Seely’s new fizz, for which they have coined the term Britagne. Here’s my take, delivered in nine points.

It is an important time for English sparkling wine. New vineyards will soon [...]

Breaky Bottom: an impressive English fizz

OK, we all know how good the famous names of English sparkling wine are: the likes of Nyetimber, Ridgeview and Camel Valley.
Well here’s another, less well known name, making some serious sparkling wine: Breaky Bottom. This is the first wine of theirs I have tried, even though they are old timers on the English scene, [...]

Morton Estate: serious New Zealand fizz

This is a top class Kiwi fizz that I’ve never tried before. It has gained some proper complexity from long ageing on the lees, and it’s delicious.

Morton Blanc de Blancs 2000 New Zealand
12.5% alcohol; matured on the lees for seven years. Gold colour. Complex, rich toasty nose is savoury and intense with nice sweet apricot [...]

Two pink fizz on an appropriate day

I suppose I’m guilty of not taking pink fizz seriously enough. Well, in light of today’s date, I’ve opened a couple. I’m trying to pretend that I’m being ironic, but they’re actually quite delicious drinking. The surprise is how good the English fizz is.

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial NV
12% alcohol. Pink with an orange hue. [...]

Video: the second mega-Champagne blind tasting!

So here it is: the second annual Champagne blind tasting. Brother-in-law William and I taste a range of top Champagnes blind, including three ringers (two of which are from England). We’re assisted by my brother Arthur who plays a cameo role somewhere in the middle. The results are interesting, and for me a little unexpected. [...]

Great video: disgorging sparkling shiraz

Really like this video from Teusner in Australia’s Barossa Valley. It shows the process of disgorging sparkling Shiraz – but this is the same process used for many sparkling wines and Champagnes. The fact that it’s done by hand here is quite fun. The objective is to freeze the plug of yeast cells from the [...]