Bar­rie’s picks: glo­ri­ous English sparkling to try


Lang­ham Wine Estate, Clas­sic Cu­vée Re­serve Brut, Dorset 2011 97 £ 27.99-£ 33 Cam­bridge Wine Mer­chants, Dun­can Mur­ray, The Dorset Wine Co, Yapp Bros There is only one word for this: de­li­cious. Rich, smoky aro­mas give way to a multi-lay­ered palate of pra­line, honey and mush­room, all kept in check by a core of vi­brant acid­ity. It is he­do­nis­tic but de­light­ful and, given its ma­tu­rity, ex­cel­lent value for money. Drink 2017-2019 Al­co­hol 12%

Su­grue Pierre, The Trou­ble with Dreams Cu­vée Brut, South Downs 2013 97 £ 33.40-£ 39 EeBria, Exel, Hall­gar­ten Druitt & Novum, Hen­nings, Strictly Wine, Wood-Win­ters From its re­strained but com­plex aro­mas of brioche, truf­fle and spice to its vi­brant, mouth­wa­ter­ing acid­ity, this is beau­ti­fully crafted and hugely ex­cit­ing fizz. Although drink­ing well now, it has the struc­ture to de­velop for sev­eral years. Drink 2017-2022 Alc 12%

Nyetim­ber, Blanc de Blancs, West Sus­sex 2010 96 £ 38.50-£43.99 Berry Bros & Rudd, Davy’s, Farr, Drinkmon­ger, Har­rods, Jer­oboams, Jus­terini & Brooks, L’Assem­blage, Lea & Sande­man, The Finest Bub­ble, Wood-Win­ters De­vel­oped bread and wood-smoke aro­mas are matched by a fine mousse and savoury, ap­ple peel flavours. Stylish and clas­sic. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 12%

Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cu­vée, North

Downs, Kent 2013 95 £ 100 Chapel Down Win­ery This am­bi­tious new pres­tige cu­vée blanc de blancs is still very young, but shows enor­mous prom­ise. Full of spiced ap­ple fruit, chalky min­er­al­ity, tangy acid­ity and a hint of au­tol­y­sis. Tuck away for a while. Drink 2018-2022 Alc 12%

Wis­ton Estate, Cu­vée Brut, South Downs 2013 95 £ 32.95 Booths, Cor­ney & Barrow, Harvey Ni­chols, Hen­nings Wines, Sim­ply Wines Di­rect, The Finest Bub­ble Once again, the lat­est re­lease of Wis­ton’s vin­tage cu­vée from wine­maker Der­mot Su­grue is su­perb. Savoury, yeasty aro­mas are matched by fresh, fo­cused acid­ity in the mouth, along with hints of roasted nut and ripe ap­ple. Drink 2017-2020 Alc 12%

Cot­ton­worth, Clas­sic Cu­vée Brut, Hamp­shire NV 93 £ 24.99-£ 28 All About Wine, Fare­ham Wine Cel­lar, Toscanac­cio Savoury, au­tolytic notes on the nose are the re­sult of 27 months’ lees age­ing and 30% re­serve wine. The over­all im­pres­sion is one of ele­gance, with bis­cuit and light truf­fle flavours un­der­pin­ning a very fine and re­fresh­ing frame. Drink 2017-2020 Alc 12%

Court Gar­den, Ditch­ling Re­serve Brut, East Sus­sex 2010 93 £ 29.70-£ 31.99 But­lers Wine Cel­lar, Dul­wich Vint­ners, Hand­ford, Quaff A blanc de noirs that is typ­i­cally broad and bready with baked red ap­ple fruit and hints of roasted nut from oak.

Though it’s from the 2010 vin­tage, it is still beau­ti­fully lively with juicy acid­ity and a very ap­peal­ing drink­a­bil­ity. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 12%

Fox & Fox, In­spi­ra­tion Brut, East Sus­sex 2013 92 £ 33-£ 39 Jus­terini & Brooks This char­ac­ter­ful Pinot Gris-based blanc de blancs is rich in colour, aroma and flavour. In­tensely creamy but re­fresh­ingly dry, with bread and spiced red ap­ple aro­mas, it is full of en­ergy and life. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 11.5%

Gus­bourne, Blanc de Blancs, Kent 2013 92 £ 37.50-£42.95 Berry Bros & Rudd, Goed­huis & Co, Harvey Ni­chols, He­do­nism, Jer­oboams, Jus­terini & Brooks, Lea & Sande­man, Od­dbins, Sel­fridges, Wood-Win­ters As with all of the Gus­bourne wines, there is a pre­ci­sion and sub­tlety here, along with the saline min­er­al­ity and steely acid­ity of a clas­sic blanc de blancs. El­e­gant, bready and tight-knit, it is young and needs time to de­velop. Drink 2018-2020 Alc 12%

Ham­ble­don Vine­yard, Pre­mière Cu­vée Brut, Hamp­shire NV 91 £42.50-£49.90 Berry Bros & Rudd, Harvey Ni­chols, He­do­nism, The Finest Bub­ble, Vir­gin Wine, Waitrose Cel­lar A blend of the Cham­pagne trio from 2011 with 15% re­serve wine from 2010, this is the first re­lease of Ham­ble­don’s top wine. There is ev­i­dent de­vel­op­ment of colour and aroma, with but­tered toast and rich, bready notes to the fore. A bold, stylish fizz for clas­si­cists. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 12%

Greyfri­ars, Rosé Re­serve Brut, Sur­rey 2013 94 £ 23.50-£ 25.99 Lea & Sande­man, Waitrose Made from 100% Pinot Noir with a third of the blend fer­mented in old oak, this an­tique gold-coloured rosé is full of spiced plum fruit and creamy, roasted nut flavours. A rich-tex­tured and toasty style that’s a great match for food. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 11.5%

Digby Fine English, Le­an­der Pink Brut, NV 93 £ 29.99 Ar­mit, Harvey Ni­chols, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose From its pale sal­mon colour to its re­strained but spicy, red fruit palate, this is a sub­tle and stylish rosé. El­e­gant and au­tolytic, bal­anced, long and har­mo­nious, it’s one to sip and savour. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 12%

Am­briel, Rosé Ex­tra Dry, West Suss­sex NV 91 £ 22.50 Hawkins Bros, Pri­vate Cel­lar, Wine Pantry, Wine Ther­apy Charles and Wendy Outh­waite’s West Sus­sex estate is a rel­a­tive new­comer to the English wine scene and I par­tic­u­larly like their juicy, easy-go­ing rosé. Full of sum­mer fruit flavours and red ap­ple tang, it’s great value and ideal for pic­nics and par­ties. Drink 2017-2019 Alc 10%

For full de­tails of UK stockists, see p97

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