Hambledon Classic Cuvee, a brilliant new English sparkling wine

england sparkling wine

Hambledon Classic Cuvee, a brilliant new English sparkling wine


Hambledon Vineyard has history. It was established in 1952, the first of the new era vineyards in the UK. The village of Hambledon is also the cradle of the sport of cricket.

Hambledon Vineyard was bought by Ian Kellett in 1999, and he decided fairly soon on that the future for England is sparkling wine. He bought in outside investors, and grew the vineyard from the paltry 4 acres it had declined to, to its current size of 50 acres. There’s also a new gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery. Since 2011, Hervé Jestin has been in charge of winemaking here. In April this year Hambledon also bought the neighbouring 46 acre Meon Hill vineyard.

hambledon vineyards home of cricket

So, this is the first release of the new era, and it’s a really impressive sparkling wine. More, and presumably even better, is to come in the future.

Hambledon Vineyards Classic Cuvee NV Hampshire, England
12% alcohol. Taut and quite complex with ripe apples, citrus, pear and even some fig, with a bit of creaminess. The palate is crisp and bright with high acidity clamping down on the fruit, but there’s still some apple and pear character. Subtle bread and toast notes begin to emerge after a while. Very young but pretty serious. 91/100 (rrp £28.50 Berry Bros & Rudd, Fareham Wine, Hawksmoor, Scotts, Bird of Smithfield, Skylon, RFH)

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