Sparkling English suc­cess sto­ries I

Heather Dougherty finds the qual­ity of English sparkling wines is pos­i­tively ef­fer­ves­cent

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOOD AND DRINK -

T’S no longer news that English wines are grow­ing in stature with ev­ery pass­ing year.

Sparkling wines, es­pe­cially, con­tinue to set the pace and I was bowled over re­cently with the qual­ity and con­sis­tency of the sparkling wines I tasted at the an­nual English Wine Pro­duc­ers’ event.

But don’t just take my word for it – English wines have al­ready scooped up plenty of medals at ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions this year, with surely more to come.

Sto­ries are cir­cu­lat­ing about a loom­ing short­age of Prosecco, which I would take with a large pinch of salt, but if they do ma­te­ri­alise, there is plenty of English fizz to fill the gap, with pro­duc­tion up to 6.3 mil­lion bot­tles last year. And this fig­ure will only rise, as more vine­yards en­ter pro­duc­tion.

Be­low are some old favourites and some new (to me at least) dis­cov­er­ies:

Ham­ble­don Clas­sic Cu­vée NV – £29.95 from Berry Broth­ers

This Chardon­nay dom­i­nated blend from Hamp­shire based Ham­ble­don Vine­yard com­bines com­plex­ity and lin­ear­ity with de­li­cious baked ap­ple ma­tur­ing Chardon­nay char­ac­ter.

It scooped a Gold Medal at the In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge and that com­pe­ti­tion’s English Non Vin­tage tro­phy.

Hat­tin­g­ley Val­ley Clas­sic Cu­vée 2010 – £29.95 from slurp.co.uk

An­other Hamp­shire vine­yard, all of whose wines I rate, has done well on the medal front – this also scored Gold at the In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge.

This is 90% Chardon­nay, has lovely, long-last­ing flavour and is, ac­cord­ing to my tast­ing note, ‘quite de­li­cious’.

High Clan­don The Suc­ces­sion Cu­vée 2009

– not com­mer­cially avail­able

This is a bit­ter­sweet suc­cess story for Sur­rey-based, tiny pro­duc­ers Bruce and Sibylla Tin­dale.

Their one-acre vine­yard has pro­duced a wine judged wor­thy of a Gold medal at the In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge (as well as Bronze at the De­canter World Wine Awards and Gold at the Som­me­lier Wine Awards) – but sadly, they have none avail­able to sell as their stock was stolen from its bonded ware­house ear­lier this year.

You can, how­ever, get a taste of High Clan­don, as the Tin­dales will be launch­ing their 2010 Magna Carta

Cu­vée this month.

Heather Dougherty pre­dicts more English fizz could be on its way

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