Home Winners > Winners 2020 > England

Winner Details

English Sparkling Wine

Our tasters’ attitude to English wine has shifted over the years. When we first started to get sizeable numbers entered into SWA there was an almost giddy excitement at how good they were and, probably, too many medals. Now, English fizz is well established, its novelty value has worn off and our teams judge it far more critically.

It is this, rather than any flattening off in quality, that explains the reason why the category has settled where it has – 16-18 medals, with four or five places on the Gold List, for each of the past four years.

Most of the entries were based on champagne grape blends, but it was good to see some variety in the winners, with some English grapes and different production methods, such as Charmat-method, or (as in one of Fox & Fox’s two Golds) a Meunier blanc de noir.

From The Tasting Teams

‘There were less of the floral, herbal, Bacchus-led wines. These had much more autolytic characters, more like champagne in style.’ Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers

‘The quality was very high, and in some cases it was surprisingly good value. Oddly, some of the more well-priced wines seemed to show better than the more expensive wines.’ Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting

‘This was a good flight. Overall, I was very happy with the quality, from the first price tag to the very last.’ Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard

‘It’s selling more and more when compared with champagne, and it doesn’t need to be a hand-sell anymore. People recognise brands like Nyetimber and Chapel Down.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry and Guards Club

‘We list a couple at our restaurants – one white and one rosé – but they are more expensive than the house champagne. It doesn’t sell well.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

‘Even under £20 you’ll find good quality – from Devon, to Sussex, to Oxfordshire.’ Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection

‘There were a couple of sparkling wines here that could be on any great wine list.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

‘English sparkling is much more present on all wine lists; it’s on the sommelier’s mind now.’ Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair

Award winners

Found 28 wines

Sparkling: England

Oxney Organic Estate, Oxney Classic 2016, East Sussex, England

Gold medal winner

'Delicious crunchy apple and citrus fruit at first, with some yeasty bread notes too. There's superb balance here, with a delicate mousse and a crisp, clean finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.'This has many layers, with lovely ripe apple notes followed by aromas of fresh bread and pastry. Ideal for aperitifs, or even to accompany a whole meal.' Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery.

£19.58 Vintage Roots

Fox & Fox, CV Brut 2014, East Sussex, England

Gold medal winner

'Lime, lemon and tropical notes on the nose, along with some great minerality. A very rich and muscular wine, with good length.' Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'With an intense nose of fresh herbs, grapefruit, some bready tones and ginger too, and a good, vibrant mouthfeel and good weight, I'd see this working well in fine dining.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£27.65 Fox & Fox

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

Gold medal winner

'This really shows character, with great brioche and spice notes on the nose that all carry through to the palate, along with a slightly floral element.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'A complex, more evolved style, with bright citrus fruits, more tertiary notes and creamy texture. Great for an aperitif, or paired with seafood.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£27.65 Fox & Fox

Three Choirs, Classic Cuvée -1, Gloucestershire, England

Gold medal winner

'An altogether tasty and well-priced wine, bright and citrusy with lemons and pomelo, some hints of grass and just a bit of lees aroma.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting. 'A light, fresh and zesty wine with a lifted herbal and nettle note, leading to a nicely saline finish. Good value and a great gastro fizz in general.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£10.74 Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd

Simpsons, Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016, Kent, England

Silver medal winner

'Very tasty and well-priced, with a toasty nose of apple and pear, and hints of vanilla on the palate.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting. 'Fresh, bright and zingy, with citrus notes of orange and lime and a nicely integrated mousse.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine. 'A nicely balanced crowd-pleaser at a good price.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£15.00 Roberson Wine, Simpsons Wine Estate

Jenkyn Place, Blanc de Blancs 2015, Hampshire, England

Silver medal winner

'Floral, light and zesty, with a crisp, fresh palate with crunchy green apple acidity.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Floral notes on the nose, with a hint of white tea with some ginger, leading to a smooth, rounded, well-balanced palate. A match for saffron risotto.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£21.00 New Generation Wines

Camel Valley, Cornwall, Brut 2017, Cornwall, England

Silver medal winner

'Fresh and well-made, in a less autolytic style, with a pronounced lemon sherbet and pear-drop nose, with good body and length.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Lovely ripeness of fruit here, like Poire Williams and green apple, with ripeness on the palate too. Super-juicy and ideal for dessert.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche.

£18.42 Matthew Clark, Camel Valley, St Austell Brewery

Langham Wine Estate, Corallian, Classic Cuvée -1, Dorset, England

Silver medal winner

'This would be great by the glass in a premium fish restaurant, with its intense flowery and fruity nose, and some pastry hints to complement. The palate is just as intense, with very good acidity and freshness.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Bready, yeasty aromas with green apple and orange peel fruit and a fine mousse texture.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£18.42 Christopher Piper Wines, Langham Wine Estate, Lea & Sandeman

Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Hindleap, Blanc de Blancs 2013, East Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'Perfect as an aperitif, with fresh, crisp citrus notes and a fresh minerality, with some green fruit too, all really well balanced by delicate lees notes on the finish.' Monica Bacchiocchi, Wiltons. 'Lovely citrus and apple fruit. This is light on its feet, with a certain grace. And good value.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£16.40 Ellis of Richmond

Sugrue, The Trouble with Dreams, Brut 2014, East Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'I love the saltiness here, accompanied by white flowers and a gentle citrus attack. One for a relaxed summery lunch, and great with oysters.' Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Pronounced flavour intensity of ripe stone fruit, zesty citrus and a touch of pineapple, with additional pastry and dairy notes, and a creamy mousse.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£34.84 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Fitz, Sparkling Wine -1, West Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'A champagne-like nose with biscuits and light yeasty aromas, then fresh notes of clean-cut apple and lemon followed by a great touch of minerality.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'A very elegant, autolytic nose, with flavours of pears and lemons with biscuit and toast. Excellent for the price.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£16.75 Bibendum

Beacon Down, Blanc de Noirs 2017, East Sussex, England

Silver medal winner

'A fresh, delicate sparkler with bright acidity. Good value.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'Pleasant and citrusy on the nose, with a soft, delicate, easy-drinking palate showing good harmony, and good balance overall.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir. 'Crisp, fresh and zingy with orange notes and a creamy mouthfeel.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£16.89 Beacon Down Vineyard

Wyfold Vineyard, Brut 2014, Oxfordshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'Aperitif in style, with gentle notes of citrus and white flowers, and chalkiness very present.' Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'This has toast, dairy and pastry notes in balance with its pronounced fruit character of zesty lime and ripe peach and apricot, and with a long finish.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£20.50 Laithwaite's Wine

Grange Estate Wines , The Grange, Hampshire, Classic -1, Hampshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'This has a bright citrus fruit focus, with lovely minerality and freshness on the palate. Good value too.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'A lemony nose with some wild flowers to complement, leading to a very fresh palate. I see this working in a gastropub.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£20.00 Grange Estate Wines

Greyfriars, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2014, Surrey, England

Bronze medal winner

'A perfect aperitif with a bright, fresh, elegant style.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'Savoury mineral aromas with juicy orchard fruit and both high acidity and fruit sweetness, leading to a fresh finish.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Bready notes with vibrant lime citrus, a crunchy mid-palate and a zesty finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy.

£22.80 Matthew Clark, Greyfriars Vineyard

Greyfriars, Blanc de Noirs -1, Surrey, England

Bronze medal winner

'A focused and incisive wine, with green apple running through it, and just enough breadth and creaminess, leading into a well-delineated finish.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Yeasty character on the nose leading to more fruit on the palate, and with balanced freshness. A pleasant, long finish with a fine mousse.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel.

£29.00 Matthew Clark, Greyfriars Vineyard

Harrow & Hope, Blanc de Noirs 2015, Buckinghamshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'A great expression of the style, with chalky texture, good expression of lees and a slate finish.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir. 'Citrus zest, lemons and crunchy apples, with a fresh touch of minerality, as well as a creamy texture with some autolytic character.' Monica Bacchiocchi, Wiltons.

£32.99 Jascots Wine Merchants

Direct Wines Production, Windsor Great Park Vineyard 2015, Berkshire, England

Bronze medal winner

'Serious stuff, with quite a rich style. An intense, biscuity nose is followed by a richly concentrated palate, with hints of toffee, nuts and caramel kept in check by freshness.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Freshly baked bread aromas with lemon, lime, orange and apple on the palate, and great mouth-watering acidity that begs for oysters.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£22.56 Laithwaite's Wine

Gusbourne, Brut Reserve 2015, Kent, England

Commended medal winner

Trotton Estate Vineyards, Spectacular English Sparkling, Brut Classic Cuvée -1, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Greyfriars, Cuvée Royale 2015, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

Roebuck Estates, Classic Cuvée 2014, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

£21.60 Roebuck Estates

Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve -1, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

£19.80 Enotria&Coe

Jenkyn Place, Classic Cuvée, Brut 2014, Hampshire, England

Commended medal winner

Harrow & Hope, Brut Reserve -1, Buckinghamshire, England

Commended medal winner

Fox & Fox, Essence Brut, Pure Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs 2014, East Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

£27.65 Fox & Fox

Langham Wine Estate, Culver, Classic Cuvée -1, Dorset, England

Commended medal winner

Bride Valley , Dorset Crémant -1, Dorset, England

Commended medal winner

£24.95 Liberty Wines