Wine of the Week

The Church of England - - LETTERS -

Ridgeview Blooms­bury 2010 Waitrose £22.99

Sun­day, 21st April is H.M. The Queen’s birth­day: the real one, not the of­fi­cial one, which this year will be 16th June. Tues­day 23rd is St Ge­orge’s Day, and also the date on which Shake­speare was born. A call for English wine! Pro­duc­ers have ex­celled in pro­duc­ing sparkling wine, some of which in in­ter­na­tional blind tast­ings have more than held their own with cham­pagne. This bot­tle is very ap­pro­pri­ate: firstly, it car­ries around its neck a trib­ute to Christo­pher Mer­ret, FRS, who first recorded ex­per­i­ments for the mak­ing of sparkling wine in Charles II’s reign, and, sec­ond, an­other Ridgeview (a Rosé fizz), was served at a State Din­ner at Buck­ing­ham Palace, for Pres­i­dent Obama. Here, our grapes, from vine­yards on Sus­sex’s South Downs, are a blend from all three clas­sic va­ri­eties used for cham­pagnes, mostly Chardon­nay, with Pinot Noir (27%) and Pinot Me­u­nier (12%). Light gold in the glass, with cit­rus on the nose, there’s a fine mousse (those bub­bles) and clas­sic bis­cuit notes, lead­ing to the ex­pected stim­u­lat­ing fin­ish. Waitrose also has a good range of English still white wines. Sains­bury’s has one English, a sparkling, in its own “Taste the Dif­fer­ence” range made at Den­bies’ Sur­rey vine­yard, the largest in the UK. Tesco’s still Finest English White is also made by Den­bies. Gra­ham Gen­dall Nor­ton

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