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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > England

Winner Details

England

2019 GOLD: 5      SILVER: 1      BRONZE: 1      COMMENDED: 3
2018 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 3      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 9

And so the English juggernaut rolls on, though – this being England – it does so politely, after checking in its rear-view mirror first and without exceeding the speed limit. Another year, another record number of Gold medals, with an interesting range of whites and a second consecutive red Gold as well.

Our tasters were very positive about what was on offer here – particularly at the entry level, where the zest and freshness was deemed a useful tool in the sommelier’s arsenal. Indeed, perhaps the most surprising element of all here was not the number of medals but the pricing. The UK isn’t a particularly cheap place to make wine, yet half the medal winners were under £10, making it one of the best-value parts of the competition. Even the top wines were fairly priced.

It’ll be interesting to see how this section does next year, when the large, sun-filled bottles from the 2018 vintage hit the market. We expect further great things, from both reds and whites.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I approach English reds with a sense of excitement. They aren’t new, but they’re definitely something that needs to be sold by a sommelier. Even if you worked in a very English restaurant, people aren’t just going to pick it off the list.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘They’ve really got potential, but they just need some more time to ensure they plant the right grapes in the right places.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘They’re still subject to the vagaries of the weather and vintage variation in the UK. But the wines were good, and some showed well at the inexpensive end of the flight.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘The reds were still too green, and not balanced. I think we have all the weather conditions for Pinot Noir, so that could be something for UK reds, but it’s still a very niche thing.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘I work in a very traditional restaurant, and English sparkling doesn’t sell as well as it should. English reds would probably fare even worse, but in the right environment, like a food pairing, it’s an interesting option to have.’ Harry Ballmann, Wiltons

‘I found that the easy, simpler wines here gave more exciting results. As soon as they tried to work them more, or age them, the wines were less interesting.’ Bianca Potenza, Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam 

Award winners

Found 11 wines

England

Sharpham, Dart Valley Reserve 2017, Devon, England

Gold medal winner

‘Peach and nectarine on the nose, with good sweetness, and a ripe fleshy palate’ was how Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam described this Gold Lister, while team leader Tom Forrest found ‘fresh grapefruit and peel’ and a ‘mineral stoniness on the finish’. For Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants the wine impressed with its ‘citrussy zest and excellent minerality’ and he thought it ‘would make an excellent fish wine’. ‘Absolutely,’ agreed team leader Jade Koch, ‘perfect for fish and chips’.

£7.51 Boutinot

Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge White 2017, Kent, England

Gold medal winner By the glass

‘Fresh and mineral, with green notes reminiscent of olives and sea salt,’ began Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam, describing this Gold Lister as a ‘savoury wine that is perfect to be enjoyed at the beach’, while Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche detected ‘stone fruit character, like vine peach’, and thought it had ‘great structure and texture’ and a ‘long-lasting finish’. For team leader Carlos Ferreira it had a ‘nose of stone fruits, yellow apple and pear’, a palate that was ‘salted, crispy and with a touch of white spice’ and a ‘fresh and long finish’.

£6.98 Biddenden Vineyards

Gusbourne, Guinevere 2016, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

‘Great Chardonnay, toasty, yeasty, structured and complex,’ began a clearly impressed Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche, adding that this worthy Gold Lister ‘needs decanting’. Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam described it as ‘fresh and oaky, woody and smoky’, adding that it was ‘ripe and elegant’ with ‘nice texture’. She thought it ‘would pair well with creamy dishes’. Elegant was also the key word for team leader Carlos Ferreira, who noted: ‘Nose is elegant and complex with spice and stone fruit. Very elegant on the palate, with white spices and pineapple. Very elegant finish and food-friendly.’

£14.25 Gusbourne Estate

Gusbourne, Pinot Noir 2016, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

‘A really good representation of English wine,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW as this took its place on the Gold List, finding it to be ‘well balanced and structured, with some lively acidity and a fine rasp of tannin’, while Harry Ballmann of Wiltons spoke of a ‘lovely, well-rounded nose, leading to a balance of oak, spice and fruit’. Maze by Gordon Ramsay’s Gabriele Bertotti, meanwhile, thought its ‘savoury, juicy notes’ made it one to ‘pair with charcuterie’.

£16.50 Gusbourne Estate

Lavenham Brook, Suffolk Bacchus 2017, Suffolk, England

Gold medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest picked up ‘grassy mineral aromas’, and described a ‘light spritz’, a ‘grassy, pear and pea palate’ and a ‘touch of pineapple cube on the finish’, while fellow team leader Carlos Ferreira thought it had a ‘tropical nose, and asparagus on the palate’, and was a ‘good wine for the price’. For Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche it was a ‘lovely wine’, showing ‘ripe fruit, tangerine and lemon peel’ and with a ‘dry, citrussy and juicy clean palate.’ It gave Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam a ‘springtime feeling’, with its ‘aromatic notes of jasmine and white flowers’. She further described it as a ‘soft and supple, feminine wine’, with a ‘slightly citrussy palate with white peach; on the edge of off-dry’. ‘Great value by-the-glass option,’ said team leader Nigel Lister, adding ‘give it to a Sauvignon drinker’.

£6.50 Lavenham Brook

Gusbourne, Guinevere 2014, Kent, England

Silver medal winner

‘The nose is very elegant and complex. It shows a delicate spiciness that leads to some tropical fruit on the palate, with pineapple and grapefruit. The finish is delicate and classy,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira.

£14.25 Gusbourne Estate

Trotton Estate Vineyards, Brilliant Bacchus with a Dash of Pinot Gris 2017, West Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

‘On the nose there’s a soft, peachy, fruity character. On the palate I find it nicely balanced, with smoke, toast, flavours of pear and apple and a zingy mineral note,’ said team leader Tom Forrest.

£8.45 Trotton Estate Vineyards

Camel Valley, Bacchus Dry 2017, Cornwall, England

Commended medal winner

Dunleavy, Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, Somerset, England

Commended medal winner

Toppesfield Vineyard, Reserve, Bacchus 2017, East Anglia, England

Commended medal winner

Lyme Bay, Chardonnay 2016, Devon, England

Commended medal winner

 

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