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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > England

Winner Details

English Sparkling Wine

2019  GOLD: 5     SILVER: 7              BRONZE: 4           COMMENDED: 15
2018  GOLD: 5     SILVER: 11            BRONZE: 2           COMMENDED: 12

Rather like the UK parliament, English fizz rather ground to a halt this year – this was the smallest medal count since 2014. Unlike the UK parliament, however, there was still much to admire.

First, this year’s 16 medals and 15 Commendeds was only marginally fewer than last year and 2017. It’s not as if the results fell off a cliff.

Second, our tasters found consistency and, perhaps more importantly, a genuine defined English style, focused on lift, aromatics and a mouth-watering acidity. And while prices seem to have gone up between 10 and 20% over the past few years, most of these still sit nicely just below most non-vintage champagnes.

Several of the wines in our Gold and Silver categories appear there year after year, suggesting that some kind of hierarchy is starting to emerge. But special mention must go to Hattingley for a second consecutive Gold for its Classic Reserve, and to Three Choirs, who narrowly missed out this year, but whose Classic Cuvée remains one of the country’s best-value sparklers.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘These all showed good, consistent quality. They’re not far from non-vintage champagne, while retaining their identity as English sparkling. That English style has a lighter body, a bit more salinity, and mineral, chalky flavours, as well as a little more acidity.’ Alan Bednarski, Texture

‘These were really good. There was quite a lot of variation, and as we stepped up in price we saw more complexity. We also saw some good examples at the cheaper end of the scale, where they would be beating champagne in price.’ Joseph Lunn, Suave Wine

‘We were quite surprised to find much more value and quality at the lower end of this flight. At the higher end they were lacking autolysis and complexity, and unfortunately people will compare to champagne at that level.’ Sunaina Sethi, JKS Restaurants

‘You see quality here, as well as consistency from the low end right to the top, and you see the winemaking and maturity of the wines coming along. It’s a lovely story.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

Award winners

Found 31 wines

Sparkling: England

Fox & Fox, Tradition, Brut, Blanc de Noirs 2014, East Sussex, England

Gold medal winner

As this was elevated to Gold, Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club spoke glowingly of its ‘nectarine aromas, with some gentle rosemary, too, leading to some elegant freshness and some peppery notes, and all culminating in a charming, complex finish’, while Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali found it ‘rich and fragrant, with hints of toast and spice, and some red apple on the creamy palate’. ‘A true expression of English sparkling,’ added Heddon Street Kitchen’s Timothy Connor.

£27.65 Amathus Drinks Plc

Enborne Vineyards, All Angels, Classic Cuvée 2014, Berkshire, England

Gold medal winner

‘Elegant on the nose and perfumed, rich and intense on the palate’ was how Paola Giraldo of Wiltons described this Gold winner, while Street XO’s Raphael Thierry liked its ‘toasted almonds on the nose, and a creamy palate with melon, peach, ripe citrus and some autolytic complexity’. Roberto Sanchez of Sexy Fish, meanwhile, thought that ‘pear and apple on the nose, leading to a really well-balanced palate that’s intense, fresh and vibrant’ made this ‘a good match for either salads or sushi’.

£19.50 All Angels Vineyard

Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve NV, Hampshire, England

Gold medal winner

‘The perfect way to start a meal,’ began an impressed Timothy Connor of Heddon Street Kitchen as this took its place on the Gold podium, while Matteo Cali of Savoy Grill praised its ‘pronounced citrus and apple notes on the nose, with acidity well balanced by the creaminess of the mousse’. For team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW it was ‘appealing and balanced, with a fresh, herbal and floral nose’.

£19.20 Enotria&Coe

Gusbourne, Blanc de Blancs 2013, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

This Gold winner was impressive both for its ‘delicate nose and more complex palate’, according to Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali, who also described its ‘nutty character, some toast, and well-integrated acidity’, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW considered it to be ‘lifted and floral’ and ‘a zesty, mouthwatering wine – and ideal by the glass’. ‘Fresh citrus and minerality’ made this, for Paola Giraldo of Wiltons, ‘great as an aperitif, or with oysters’.

£31.00 Gusbourne Estate

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

Gold medal winner

‘Elegant and balanced’ were just some of the characteristics that elevated this to Gold, according to Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, who described ‘a classic champagne nose, with baking bread and baked apples’. Team leader Tom Forrest enjoyed its ‘toasty brioche, apples and pears, and some floral notes, too’, going on to describe ‘a creamy mousse, with strawberry, raspberry and red apple, and a lemon finish’.

£19.00 New Generation Wines

Blackdown Ridge, Primordia 2014, West Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

For Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club this opened with ‘fresh green apple on the nose, along with some gentle rosemary notes, leading to a very elegant mousse with some white spices, and a refreshing finish’.

£15.00 The English Wine Centre, The Haslemere Cellar, Corkage

Camel Valley, Cornwall, Brut 2015, Cornwall, England

Silver medal winner

This opened with ‘a bright and inviting nose’, according to team leader Angela Reddin, who thought that it ‘presents beautifully across the palate, with crème anglaise, raspberry, stone fruit and pastry notes – lots going on here’.

£20.79 Matthew Clark, Camel Valley, St Austell Brewery

Gusbourne, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Kent, England

Silver medal winner

This blanc de blancs had ‘a lovely brioche and biscuit nose’, according to Raphael Thierry of Street XO, who went on to describe ‘a refreshing mousse with ripe fruit, some honeysuckle and autolytic complexity, topped by a long, fresh finish’.

£31.00 Gusbourne Estate

Harrow & Hope, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Buckinghamshire, England

Silver medal winner

‘A big hitter, with style and pizzazz,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, going on to describe ‘a powerful palate of red fruit, red apple, lemon verbena and meadowsweet’. ‘A very appealing, spring day wine that’s very nicely balanced,’ added The London Cookhouse’s Michael Moore.

£21.54 Jascots Wine Merchants

Three Choirs, Classic Cuvée NV, Gloucestershire, England

Silver medal winner

Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found this to be ‘a fruit salad, with lemon and pear notes – a fresh, vibrant and clean wine, with some baked bread, too. Fantastic value.’ Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants, meanwhile, noted its ‘clean, steely nose, with a crisp and mineral palate’.

£10.74 Jascots Wine Merchants, Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd

Lyme Bay, Classic Cuvée 2015, Devon, England

Silver medal winner

‘A lovely biscuit nose, with some blossom honey, leading to a fleshy, warm, toasty palate, with marmalade and violet, too,’ said team leader Jade Koch, while Alan Bednarski of Texture remarked on its ‘delicate floral character, with iris, cherry blossom and a mix of ripe stone fruits’.

£19.74 Lyme Bay Winery

Westwell, Pelegrim NV, Kent, England

Silver medal winner

‘A well-balanced and easy-drinking wine’, according Roberto Sanchez of Sexy Fish, who went on to describe ‘lots of apple and pear notes, with some good acidity and freshness coming through on the palate’.

£16.50 Uncharted Wines

Nutbourne Vineyards, Nutty, Brut 2015, West Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

For Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group, this had ‘candied lemon peel, brioche and some cinnamon notes on the nose, leading to a fine mousse, with ripe apple, and good acidity that is well integrated into the structure’. ‘Fruity and charming, with green apple, and a sweet red-apple skin finish,’ added Texture’s Alan Bednarski.

£14.00 Top Selection

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

Bronze medal winner

For Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth, Simpsons & Edgbaston, this was ‘tropical, with lemon notes too, leading to a light palate with green apple notes on the fresh finish’. Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn noted some ‘biscuit on the nose and Granny Smith apple on the palate, with a slight greenness that brings complexity’.

£17.00 Matthew Clark, Greyfriars Vineyard

Ridgeview, Cavendish, Brut 2014, East Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group found this to be ‘elegant, with some brioche notes alongside lovely apple and pear notes, with fine bubbles on the palate, and a persistent, buttery finish’. The Cross Kenilworth, Simpsons & Edgbaston’s Giuseppe Longobardi also noted ‘baked pastry notes, with elegant perlage and a soft finish, with complexity developing on the aftertaste – highly food friendly'.

£25.63 Bibendum

Albourne Estate, Multi Vintage NV, West Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

‘Pears and English garden on the nose, with some hints of bakery,’ began Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine, going on to describe the palate as ‘extremely balanced, with subtle fruit and good mouthfeel’. Team leader Jade Koch found it to have ‘lots of flavour, with honey-toasted autolytic character, and a slight coconut note, too’.

£15.00 Sheridan Coopers / The Winehouse, South Downs Cellars

Divergent Drinks, Fitz, Sparkling Wine 2017, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Langham, Classic Cuvée, Brut NV, Dorset, England

Commended medal winner

Greyfriars, Blanc de Noirs NV, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Greyfriars, Cuvée, Brut NV, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Greyfriars, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2013, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Grange Estate, The Grange, Classic NV, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

High Clandon, Halcyon Cuvée 2014, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Roebuck Estates, Classic Cuvée 2013, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Greyfriars, Cuvée Royale 2015, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Danebury Vineyards, Cossack Brut 2014, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

Wyfold Vineyard, Wyfold Brut 2014, Oxfordshire, England

Commended medal winner

Bluestone, Classic Cuvée 2015, Wiltshire, England

Commended medal winner

Gusbourne, Brut Reserve 2014, Kent, England

Commended medal winner

Henners, Reserve 2014, East Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

£22.75 Boutinot

Albourne Estate, Blanc de Noirs 2013, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

 

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