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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > England

Winner Details


English Sparkling Wine

2016 Gold: 7 Silver: 13 Bronze: 5 Commended: 8
2015 Gold: 5 Silver: 7 Bronze: 7 Commended: 6

Were it not for the fact that so many of our judges are non-British, this competition could be accused of rampant chauvinism over the past few years. The medal count for home-grown sparkling wine has soared, from five in 2013 to 25 this year. Moreover, seven of those medals were Gold, which is not far behind Champagne. Congratulations to Bluebell Vineyard for securing a Food Match Trophy.

Could we reach a moment when British sparklers out-point their famous rivals from across La Manche? It doesn’t seem impossible the way things are going.

Stylistically and qualititatively, these wines were hugely popular with our tasters, who responded warmly to their bright acidity and lighter mid-palate. ‘Happy wines’, as one taster put it. And while one or two judges had reservations about the ease of selling them, such caveats are heard far less than before.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There was more variety of style than I was expecting. Not everything was aiming for the traditional champagne style – there were other grapes in there as well.’ Mya Brown, The Ledbury

‘It was encouraging to see some good lower-priced wines that weren’t competing directly with champagne. It might show how things will go in the future – that English and Welsh sparkling wine isn’t just a substitute for champagne but has a regional style in its own right.’ Matthew Cocks, WineEd

‘There is definitely a place for English sparklers on the wine list.’ Fiona Bastia, Park Chinois

‘Value for money is something that is out of whack still. The bottom end was less impressive.’ Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

‘I tasted vintage champagne yesterday, and in the same price bracket I would choose English sparkling wine. At the high end I would choose English sparkling wine, at the mid-range I’d choose champagne.’ Tobias Brauweiler MS, Hakkasan Group

‘Usually we sell English sparkling wine with spicy food or with fish.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

‘Our Asian customers like to try the sparkling wines before they even try champagne.’
Andre Luis Martins, St James’s Hotel and Club

STAR PERFORMER

Congratulations to Gusbourne Estate for securing two of the sparkling Golds. 

Award winners

Found 33 wines

Sparkling: England

Gusbourne, Brut Reserve, 2011, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

'English wine rivalling champagne – and more,' said Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, adding: 'There's some slightly oxidative notes which mean to add complexity – and they do!' 'Deep in colour, ripe fruits join toasty notes, light smoke and bracing acidity,' said Skylon's Marco Marcuzzo, while Nelio Pinto of Candelsticks Hotel & Restaurant said: 'White pepper, honey and grapefruit, with a persistent mineral character,' and Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group highlighted its 'almond hints and apple pie on the palate, smooth texture and balance with notes of rich fruit, hazelnut and mineral freshness to finish'.

£22.00 Wright Wine Co , Clark Foyster Wines Ltd

Bluebell Vineyard, Hindleap, Blanc de Blancs, 2011, Sussex, England

Gold medal winner Food Match

A worthy winner of the Fish & Chips Food Match Trophy, 'This is very toasty and rich in the mouth, showing fruit skin and hazelnut flavours, some oxidation, but plenty of body and length,' said team leader Angela Reddin. 'Quite ripe, beautifully lifting,' agreed Bart Michalewicz of Park Chinois, while Trangallán's Xabier Álvarez-Valdés called it 'intense, ripe and elegant', noting 'texture, ripe citrus fruit and complexity'.

£13.99 Please contact winery for further information

Gusbourne, Blanc de Blancs, 2011, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

Not many producers do the double, bagging two Golds, but Gusbourne has, with this complex, finely balanced Blanc de Blancs with a lengthy finish responsible for one of the pair. 'Very interesting palate,' said Sarah Riddle of Sketch, 'with its mix of floral, violet tones, and its biscuity richness and lemony hints.' Team leader Anne Krebiehl MW found 'riper apple flavours and a richer, honeyed style with layered citrus and mineral characters', while Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant enjoyed its 'fine mousse and very creamy mouthfeel, delicate but lovely'.

£26.00 Wright Wine Co , Clark Foyster Wines Ltd

Westwell, Pelegrim, NV, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

'This really ticks all the boxes, for a very reasonable price,' said Hurley House's Alex Sergeant of England's first sparkling Gold of 2016, commenting on the 'nice, citrus acidity', the 'notes of sharp green apple and lime', and the 'good, lingering finish'. Matthew Cocks of WineEd agreed, saying that this would give 'good exposure for English sparkling at this price point', with its 'ripe pear nose, autolytic notes and rounded balance of fruit and acidity'.

£13.50 Bancroft Wines , Page & Sons Ltd

High Clandon Estate, The Magna Carta Cuvée, Brut Vintage, 2010, Surrey, England

Gold medal winner

The second year in a row for High Clandon at the Gold table. 'La classe!' began an impressed Christopher Delalonde MS of Medlar Restaurant, continuing: 'Fresh, bright nose with nuts, confit fruit, crushed berries, underlined with minerals. Complex, driven and taut mid-palate with texture and lift. The composition brings ripeness, density and tension together on a long finish with a touch of saltiness adding to the spectrum. Lovely weight with chiselling acidity profile.' 'Great style,' added team leader Angela Reddin, 'with a sustained sparkle and roast lemons on the palate.'

£23.00 High Clandon Estate Vineyard

Jenkyn Place, Brut Cuvée, 2010, Hampshire, England

Gold medal winner

Freshness, a complex, floral bouquet and a lengthy finish added up to a Gold-winning formula for Jenkyn Place. Apple blossom, citrus zest and lime juice on the nose lead to an apple, lime and grapefruit-infused palate. Rudina Arapi of Galvin at Windows found it 'refreshing, with salty minerality', while team leader Annette Scarfe MW said: 'Zesty, green apple and citrus with a persistent bead.'

£19.00 New Generation Wines

Camel Valley, Cornwall Brut, 2013, England

Gold medal winner

'Tasty and fresh. And complex,' said Trangallán's Xabier Álvarez-Valdés, neatly summarising how Camel Valley took Gold with its Cornwall Brut. Team leader Angela Reddin noted: 'Nougat and praline, citrus and blossom on the nose,' and Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants concluded: 'With good fruit and floral blossom notes, it's well made and balanced, elegant and delicate.' Indeed.

£20.79 Matthew Clark , Camel Valley , St Austell Brewery

Ridgeview, Blanc de Noirs Brut, 2013, Sussex/South Downs, England

Silver medal winner

'Very zesty on the palate with lemon and citrus, lovely texture, complexity and length,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Ripe, aromatic, lovely fruit and acid balance with crisp, firm fruit,' agreed James Hocking of The Vineyard Group.

£26.00 Enotria&Coe

Ridgeview, Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2013, Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'Crisp cider apples with lovely soft cheese and yogurt notes on the nose,' began The Ledbury's Mya Brown, going on: 'Bright and tart, with lime and spice hints, kaffir and lemongrass notes.'

£26.00 Enotria&Coe

Ridgeview, Cavendish, Brut, 2013, Sussex/South Downs, England

Silver medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted 'bruised and baked apple with a persistent, long mousse', while Rudina Arapi of Galvin at Windows found a 'fine nose with medium complexity on the palate and good length'.

£22.00 Enotria&Coe

Denbies, Cubitt Reserve, 2010, Surrey, England

Silver medal winner

'Pink fruits such as watermelon on the nose with red berry notes,' began Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir, continuing: 'Medium bubbles, good flavour with nice candied citrus on the palate and a backbone of minerality.' 'Good length,' added team leader Angela Reddin, 'there's brioche and apple strudel on the nose, some lemon curd flavours and a dry finish.'

£18.33 Denbies Wine Estate

Langham, Blanc de Blanc, Brut, 2011, Dorset, England

Silver medal winner

'Quite intense, expressive green apple, pear and floral aromas, elegant use of oak,' began consultant Sumita Sarma, adding: 'Rich and well rounded, with zingy acidity perfectly in harmony with fruit and hints of toast and rhubarb.' While several noted good food-pairing potential, team leader Martin Lam said: 'Good weight – very champenois.'

£18.75 Dorset Wine Company

Digby Fine English, Reserve Brut Vintage, 2010, England

Silver medal winner

'Hot baker's oven, bready yeasty nose, very tight in the mouth but a long, fine finish,' began team leader Angela Reddin, with Christopher Delalonde MS of Medlar Restaurant noting 'chalk, lemon and lime, fresh fruit and acidity'.

£26.07 Armit , Digby Fine English

The Bolney Estate, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, 2010, Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'Toasty notes and soft acids with bright orchard fruit, orange blossom and hints of Jelly Babies. Well-integrated flavours and good length,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant.

£18.00 Justerini & Brooks , C & O Wines , HT White & Co , Davy's Wine Merchants

Bluebell Vineyard, Hindleap, Late Disgorged, Blanc de Blancs, 2008, Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

Extra time on the lees has paid dividends, with Skylon's Marco Marcuzzo saying: 'Precise, with delicate spice alongside toasty notes, integrated with fresh, ripe stone fruit flavours.' Bart Michalewicz of Park Chinois enjoyed its 'peachy, very seductive nose' and 'very delicately lifting finish', while team leader Angela Reddin found a 'tight palate with complexity and lovely layering'.

£21.99 Please contact winery for further information

Wiston Estate, South Downs, Cuvée Brut, 2010, England

Silver medal winner

'Cupcake autolysis!' began Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir, continuing: 'Tropical fruits on the nose, then a fresh palate with some lemon pie flavours, nice minerality carrying through to a decently long finish.' 'There's some red fruits on the nose, which is floral and fresh, leading to a toasty palate, with an oxidative finish,' added team leader Angela Reddin.

£19.22 Corney & Barrow

Wyfold, Wyfold Vineyard, Brut, 2011, Thames Valley, England

Silver medal winner

'Forward on the nose, showing clean citrus with yeasty, toasty, buttery yoghurt flavours,' began consultant Sumita Sarma, continuing: 'Has excellent complexity and harmonious balance.' 'There's lots of autolysis, along with a zesty sherbet character,' said team leader Martin Lam.

£21.62 Direct Wines

Harrow & Hope, Brut Reserve, NV, Thames & Chiltern, England

Silver medal winner

'A step up in intensity,' began Matthew Cocks of WineEd of this well-priced wine, continuing: 'Rich, honeyed apple and autolytic aromas – my kind of Marmite. Smoky and mineral, with floral-edged tangerine fruit. Maybe not for all, but I enjoyed the long finish.' 'Clean, zippy and fresh, with beautiful bubbles,' said Sketch's Sarah Riddle, concluding: 'Ideal as an aperitif.'

£17.29 Harrow & Hope

Coates & Seely, Brut, NV, England

Silver medal winner

Matthew Cocks of WineEd was convinced: 'Tart apple and blueberry compote on honey-brushed brioche. Refreshing acidity, and best of all, it will only continue to evolve.' Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks Hotel & Restaurant agreed: 'Layers of crushed Granny Smiths, this has good body and a full finish.'

£24.54 Bibendum Wine

Jenkyn Place, Blanc de Noirs, 2010, Hampshire, England

Silver medal winner

Mya Brown of The Ledbury felt this was 'funky but lovely, with unusual lactic notes but delicious, ripe stone fruit and nice balance', while team leader Sam Caporn MW found it had 'quite classic, well-balanced style'.

£22.00 New Generation Wines

Hart of Gold, English Sparkling Wine, 2010, Herefordshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'Evolved nose with toasted nuts and boulangerie notes, good length on the palate,' began Rudina Arapi of Galvin at Windows. 'A food fizz, full-bodied and rich in style, long and fresh,' added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£18.00 Domaine of the Bee

Biddenden Vineyards, Pinot Reserve, 2010, Kent, England

Bronze medal winner

'Unusual but beautiful,' said 67 Pall Mall's Enikő Heidenwolf, going on: 'Definitely has character. Smoky nose, fruity palate and fresh finish.' 'Very distinctive tangerine and spice aromas, with almost a hint of botrytis,' agreed team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£15.42 Biddenden Vineyards

Hattingley Valley, Classic Cuvée, 2013, Hampshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'Ripe aromas with considerable presence,' began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, continuing: 'Toasty, yeasty notes on the palate, which has fresh brioche, apricot and lemon fruit, and good balance.'

£24.02 Liberty Wines

Coates & Seely, Britagne La Perfide, Blanc de Blancs, 2009, England

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed its 'more evolved style with a complex, creamy mid-palate', also noting: 'Multi-layered, with citrus and redcurrant fruit.'

£28.30 Bibendum Wine

The Bolney Estate, Bolney Bubbly, Brut, NV, Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

'Clean, with toasty, biscuit aromas and citrus, balanced and fresh on the palate,' began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding: 'Ripe and rounded, zesty fruit, attractive and good with food.'

£15.00 Jascots Wine Merchants , C & O Wines , HT White & Co , Davy's Wine Merchants

Danebury Vineyards, Cossack, Brut Vintage, 2010, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

Redfold Vineyards, Ambriel, Classic Cuvée, NV, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

£16.00 Triage Wines

Denbies, Whitedowns , NV, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Exton Park, Blanc de Blancs, 2011, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

£24.90 H2Vin

Greyfriars, Rosé Reserve, Brut, 2013, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Wiston Estate , Brut , NV, South Downs, England

Commended medal winner

£14.50 Corney & Barrow

Woodchurch, Classic Cuvée, Brut, 2013, Kent, England

Commended medal winner

Knightor, 9112 Brut, NV, Cornwall, England

Commended medal winner