When you think of sparkling wine, you probably think Champagne, after all, since the dawn of time (ok, a slight exaggeration) Champagne has been the go-to drink for those special occasions and when you just fancy a little luxury. However, times they are a changing, and increasingly English Winemakers are creating sparkling wine to rival even the finest Champagne houses. Infact, last year English Winemakers had a record number of bottles reaching the market, up 64% from the previous year.
As a ‘Made in England’ brand, here at SCRUBD we want to showcase and celebrate these wonderful, Champagne-challenging, Made In England sparkling wines. Here’s our top 5 – enjoy!
1. Nyetimber Rose NV £39.99
Located in West Sussex, Nyetimber are regarded as England’s premier sparkling wine house, making world-class wines and often beating the big names of Champagne in blind tastings.
Their wonderful sunset pink sparkling wine has tantalising fresh aromas of fresh red fruits including Redcurrant, Raspberry and Cherry flavours, coupled with spice notes of Anise and Lavender. Creamy and rounded in texture, it presents a wonderfully elegant and silky finish.
2. Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvee 2013 £84.95
Supplying such grand institutions as The Royal Opera House, The London Symphony Orchestra, Ascot and No 10 Downing Street no less, not to mention leading chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, Chapel Down produces world-class sparkling and still wines from fruit sourced from the South-East of England.
This special drop isn’t cheap, but with only 1,600 bottles created from the heart of the first pressing of Chardonnay grapes, this rich and elegant sparkling wine has aromas of ripe green apple, hazelnuts and freshly backed brioche. Perfect to drink now, but if you can resist the urge, even better to leave and let it develop over the coming years.
3. Hoffmann & Rathbone, Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010 £42
Located in the picturesque village of Mountfield in Sussex, this boutique wine producer is run by husband and wife team Ulrich Hoffman and Birgit Rathbone. Only creating small amounts of their spectacular wines, they employ a minimalist approach to wine making, and crafting with it some gorgeous Champagne-busting sparkling wines.
Made from the Chardonnay grape, there is a powerful and fresh fruit note with notably ripe citrus fruits together with a pleasant note of white flowers and peach. Fresh and light, it’s a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to fresh oysters or other shellfish.
4. Wiston Estate Blanc de Noirs, 2010 £47
Since 1743, the Wiston Estate has been owned and managed by the Goring family and is situated on the south facing chalk slopes of the South Downs. Closely resembling the physical and chemical composition of the world renowned Cote de Blancs in Champagne, this winery utilises the traditional Coquard press and is one of only four outside France and unique to the UK.
Their Blanc de Noirs, 2010, is a rich and complex wine with aromas of apple, hints of strawberries, rhubarb and nectarines, along with the brioche and traces of nuttyyness. Made from Pinot Noir, and with fine bubbles, this sparkling wine has a smooth and elegant finish. Only 3,000 have been made, so don’t miss out on this special drop.
5. Langham Rosé Brut, 2014 £26
Located in Dorset, Langham Wines employs the traditional method of utilising a second, in bottle fermentation, to produce the sparkle. Each bottle is then aged on yeast lees for a minimum of 18 months before being disgorged and aged further under cork.
Awarded Gold in this year’s Independent English Wine Awards, this salmon-pink coloured sparkling wine is made from a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend. With hints of rich red fruit aromas including Cherry, Strawberry and summer fruit pudding flavours, you also get a nose of honey and brioche coming through. Perfect for a lazy summer afternoon, this pairs wonderfully with fish or even fresh fruit.