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Winner Details

English Sparkling Wine

2018  GOLD: 5     SILVER: 11            BRONZE: 2           COMMENDED: 12
2017  GOLD: 4     SILVER: 10            BRONZE: 4           COMMENDED: 8

The juggernaut keeps on rolling. But politely. This is England after all. From 26 awarded wines last year to 28 this year, and more Golds to boot, this was another very impressive performance from the UK’s sparklers. And while the number of top slots might not have reached the (seven Golds) heights of 2016’s competition, it was proof that the industry can still make great wines in trickier years.

Our tasters loved the style, the lift and the elegance, and for the whites the pricing was seen as generally fair. While many of the medal winners were around the £20+ mark, there were still good offerings in the £15-£20 area – and how Three Choirs made its wine so good for £10, only it will know.


‘This was extremely positive. I was really impressed by the quality, and value for money. They’re memorable – from by-the-glass wines to the more gastronomic styles.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘At this price it’s easy to find a place for these. They’re a good alternative, and people are willing to try them. All these were very terroir driven – truthful to the soil and the area, with that seaweed, iodine, chalk and flint. They’re very truthful wines.’ Mattia Mazzi, Lutyens Bar & Restaurants

‘We tried selling English fizz at Roka, but it was the same price as champagne. I’d like to sell them, but I put them on the list and they just stayed there.’ Simone Fadda, Roka Aldwych

‘They were approachable. Some are quite similar to champagne – those apple pear fruits, very refreshing with a crisp finish.’ Stefano Barbarino, Chez Bruce Restaurant

‘They’re not cheap, but still cheaper than champagne. There was a variety of styles, from dry to sweeter, and from simple to more complex. We saw stone fruit, spices, and a lot of minerality.’ Cristian Sánchez, Hotel du Vin Cambridge

‘At the upper end we’ll start seeing wines two-thirds of the price of prestige cuvée champagne. Each year gets better, and the wines deserve the recognition, and to be priced accordingly.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘I’ve been following English sparkling for the last 10 years and the industry has developed dramatically… the level has gone up drastically.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan

Award winners

Found 30 wines

Sparkling: England

Three Choirs, Classic Cuvée NV, Gloucestershire, England

Gold medal winner By the glass

Team leader Simon Woods found plenty to be impressed by on encountering this clear candidate for Gold, describing a ‘clean, crisp, juicy, really good honest style that’s toasty with nice balance’, and picking up on this blend’s 70% Seyval Blanc content, he added: ‘Has an almost Sauvignon-like herbal edge.’ ‘Classic in style,’ said Lime Wood Hotel’s Christopher Parker, going on to praise its ‘driven primary orchard fruits and wild orchid hints’.

£10.12 Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd

Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve NV, Hampshire, England

Gold medal winner

Judges had no hesitation in awarding this complex sparkling wine a Gold medal. While The Don’s Carlos Ferreira found ‘peachy stone fruit and red apple on the nose, really good balance and a creamy aftertaste’, team leader Angela Reddin enjoyed its ‘light, delicate nose of meadow flowers and oyster shell, with baker’s shop pastries on the palate and a savoury umami finish’. ‘Definitely a food wine,’ summed up team leader Martin Lam, suggesting roast chicken as a good match.

£24.05 Enotria&Coe

Langham, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2014, Dorset, England

Gold medal winner

‘Lovely by the glass and good value,’ began Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London, as this English fizz took Gold, noting its ‘floral, nutty, fruity and elegant nose, and friendly, fresh and quite juicy palate’. The Don’s Carlos Ferreira thought it was ‘a bit spicy with red apple, oak and stone fruits, good balance and finishing long and creamy’. Team leader Martin Lam found it ‘very distinctive, with a creamy, almost honeyed nose, and quite high acidity’.

£16.80 Langham Wine Estate

Harrow & Hope, Blanc de Noirs 2013, Marlow, England

Gold medal winner

‘Outstanding,’ began an impressed Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair, who loved this Gold medal winner’s ‘fresh, nutty vanilla aromas, balanced yeast notes with a crispy, buttery palate, long finish and a touch of salinity’, while Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants went on to highlight its ‘flinty, crushed stone and steely but harmonious nose with lots of iodine, elegant and sumptuous palate, mid-palate intensity and plenty of tangerine, ripe lemon and yuzu fruit, too’.

£36.43 Jascots Wine Merchants

Henners, Reserve 2010, East Sussex, England

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

This Gold Lister left an impression on Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants, with its ‘iodine, creamy, canteloupe melon rind, lactic, fine and ethereal aromas, voluptuous and succulent balance of citrus and lactic notes on the palate, showing intensity and persistence with a complex finish’, while team leader Jade Koch found it ‘honeyed, long, refreshing and mineral’. ‘A gastronomic wine,’ added team leader Laurent Richet MS, recommending a match with ‘creamy onion soup’.

£21.66 Boutinot

Greyfriars, Blanc de Blancs, Brut 2014, Surrey, England

Silver medal winner

‘A more serious wine,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, picking up ‘yeasty, biscuity aromas with Granny Smith apple and hints of dry cider and miso, then a bone-dry palate with a lovely minerality’.

£17.00 Bibendum , Matthew Clark, Greyfriars Vineyard

Greyfriars, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2013, Surrey, England

Silver medal winner

Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS found ‘bright fruit, ripe and slightly oxidative style on the nose, weight and density on the mid-palate with mineral/yeast drive, more fruit and an elegant delivery’.

£17.00 Bibendum , Matthew Clark, Greyfriars Vineyard

Raimes English Sparkling, Classic 2014, Hampshire, England

Silver medal winner

Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental enjoyed this wine’s ‘yellow apple and citrus aromas with a fragrant edge, clean acidity, elegant bubbles and creamy, toasty flavours’, while Lime Wood Hotel’s Christopher Parker highlighted ‘elderberries, ripe Granny Smith apples, subtle buttery pastry notes and hints of gooseberry jam’.

£18.50 Hermitage Cellars, Raimes English Sparkling

Bride Valley, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Dorset, England

Silver medal winner

This left an impression on team leader Angela Reddin, who found it ‘exactly the style of wine that will continue to raise the game, with its spring flowers on a crisp, clean nose, tight and controlled palate but without effort, and a fantastic finish’. ‘Good to have with smoked salmon or an octopus salad,’ suggested The Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£28.06 Liberty Wines

Ashling Park Estate, Cuvée NV, West Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

A complete and classic proposition for Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin, who liked its ‘broad, fine, toasty aromas with gingerbread and Granny Smith apples, bright lemon and white peach, then a rounded palate with crunchy fruit, hints of bitter almond and fine texture’.

£21.67 Camber Wines , Four Walls Wine Company, PDN wines

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

Silver medal winner

A ‘clean, vibrant and fruity’ style, began team leader Laurent Richet MS, showing ‘golden apples, balanced yellow plums and tangerine notes, and lovely for a by-the-glass option’. ‘The bubbles fill your mouth,’ added Cristian Sánchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge, ‘and there’s lemon peel, pear, apple and buttery aromas with a full-bodied palate.’

£15.99 Berkmann Wine Cellars, Bibendum , Bolney Wine Estate

Ridgeview, Cavendish, Brut 2014, Sussex/South Downs, England

Silver medal winner

First observing ‘a lot of foam when pouring’, team leader Laurent Richet MS found it ‘an elegant wine with concentrated fruit and nutty aromas, and a very complex taste, yet it’s easy to enjoy, showing ripe golden apple, quince and Morello cherry fruit’. ‘Lovely and gentle, with a finely composed, velvety structure,’ said Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants.

£24.78 Bibendum

Harrow & Hope, Brut Reserve NV, Marlow, England

Silver medal winner

Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS was convinced: ‘Nutty, autolysis, brioche, buttery, complex aromas, citrusy and fresh, well-balanced palate, textbook English freshness with a long juicy finish,’ adding that it was a good choice by the glass.

£20.36 Jascots Wine Merchants

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

Silver medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin found ‘older reserve wines evident, bringing a honeyed touch with earthier notes’, and Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS picked up ‘yeasty, leesy, peach and barley sugar aromas, a really creamy, elegant palate, lovely and well made in an easy style’.

£25.85 Ellis of Richmond

Gusbourne, Brut Reserve 2013, Kent, England

Silver medal winner

This wine conjured up ‘toffee apple on a stick, with crunch, bite and a firm centre’ for Christopher Parker of Lime Wood Hotel, who also enjoyed its ‘tart-sweet finish’, with Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin highlighting ‘floral, Granny Smith and lemon zest aromas, a crunchy palate with toasted almond notes, crystalline acidity and a fresh, zesty finish’.

£21.00 Gusbourne Estate

Breaky Bottom, Cuvée Reynolds Stone, Brut 2010, East Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

‘Full of red and green apple, but the palate is citrus, with really good acidity and finesse,’ said The Don’s Carlos Ferreira, noting its ‘soft aftertaste with a big hit of mineral notes’. ‘Sea breeze and delicate elderflower, crisp and clean with plenty of cracker autolysis,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£18.67 Breaky Bottom, The General Wine Company, The Wine Pantry, The Vintner Ltd

Jenkyn Place, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2013, Hampshire, England

Bronze medal winner

Simone Fadda of Roka Aldwych found ‘green apple aromas, slightly underripe, with lemon peel notes, tight and citrus on the palate’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello felt it was ‘lean and crisp with lime and salty notes, crisp with an extra-dry finish’.

£19.99 New Generation Wines

Langham, Blanc de Noirs, Brut 2013, Dorset, England

Bronze medal winner

Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant enjoyed the ‘crisp and citrus, very approachable style, with plenty of peachy fruit on the palate’, while for team leader Andrea Briccarello this was ‘floral, elegant and quite complex, with joyful honey notes’.

£18.90 Langham Wine Estate

Greyfriars, Cuvée, Brut NV, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Gusbourne, Blanc de Blancs 2013, Kent , England

Commended medal winner

Camel Valley, Cornwall, Brut 2014, Cornwall, England

Commended medal winner

High Clandon, The Elysium Cuvée, Premier Vintage, Brut 2013, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

The Bolney Estate, Blanc de Noirs, Brut 2015, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Hush Heath, Balfour, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Kent, England

Commended medal winner

Henners, Brut 2011, East Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

£19.66 Boutinot

Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Hindleap, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Hindleap, Classic Cuvée 2014, Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Denbies, Greenfields NV, Surrey , England

Commended medal winner

Denbies, Cubitt, Blanc de Noirs 2013, Surrey , England

Commended medal winner

Cottonworth, Classic Cuvée, Brut NV, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner