Since the late 1990s England’s delicious, méthode champenoise sparklers, made from the classic champagne grape varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, have been consistently wining sparkling wine awards in international competition. Trailblazers Nyetimber and Ridgeview are both great exponents of top flight british bubbles.
Certain ‘new generation’ English winemakers, like Sam Lindo from Camel Valley in Cornwall (twice voted English WineMaker of the Year) are more interested in creating wines that are distinctively English (think hawthorn & grassy aromas and flavours) using hybrid grapes like Seyval Blanc.
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Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2001
Beautiful pale gold with a fine persistent mousse and expressive nose of citrus, honey, caramel and spice and pleasant tingly acidity. The palate is soft, rich and full bodied with toast and honey notes with a splash of lime. Multi-award winning Nyetimber was served at the Queen’s 50th jubilee and at the G20 Summit. GBP 30
Ridgeview Bloomsbury 2008
This delicious chardonnay dominant blend (62% chardonnay, 27% pinot noir, 12% pinot meunier) is light gold in colour with a very fine mousse. Its a lean mean bubbly with definite hints of pastry and apple – buts its baked bramley apple pie rather than fine french apple tart and it costs just GBP18 so its great value too. Its sibbling the Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006 just won Decanter World Wine Awards Best Sparkling Wine in the world. GBP18
(Seyval Blanc & Reichensteiner) Translucent like a Fox’s glacier mint, light, lively and floral, this pale and fruity english wine is both elegant and delicious – crowned best sparkling wine in the world in 2010 and considered Britain’s Best Value Quality Bubbly. GBP20
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