Three sparkling English wines for Christmas 2015
I've featured many English sparkling wines on my wine-pages site this year from producers including Coates & Seely, Wiston Estate and Exton Park amongst others, because English fizz has most undeniably come of age in recent years as vineyards mature and winemaking improves. So for Christmas, here are three easy to buy examples from the 2010 vintage - all well worth trying.
Nyetimber, Classic Cuvèe 2010, West Sussex, England
A blend of the classic Champagne grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier this trophy-winning wine is excellent, opening with fine bubbles and a fresh aroma with some brioche and pastry notes, but a keen limey fruit and touch of bruised apple. In the mouth it has truly elegant balance, good acidity without any sharpness and a long finish with that touch of creaminess fattening the texture in the mouth. Exemplary and less that £27 on some pre-Christmas deals. 93/100. £26.98, Majestic. From £28 - £32, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Henners, Brut Reserve 2010, East Sussex, England
Ex-Formula 1 race engineer Lawrence Warr's estate was planted in 2007, again with classic Champagne varieties, this vintage dominated by 70% Chardonnay and having spent 46 months on the lees. There's a more developed, slightly more oxidative character to this, with those truffle and bruised fruit notes that are so authentic and so attractive, then a creamy and sweeter-feeling palate that is delicious sippable - indeed gulpable - before a long and charmingly fresh finish. Another beauty from the 2010 vintage. 92/100. £28.00, Winetrust100. From £28 - £34.95, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Denbies, Cubbit Reserve Brut 2010, Surrey, England
Again, a blend of the three classic Champagne grapes, from Denbies 'Yew Tree' vineyard at the highest point of the estate, cellared for four years before release. It has a pale colour and fine bubbles, a touch of biscuit on the nose to ripe orchard fruits and citrus. Less layered than the others aromatically, it is nevertheless delicious to drink, again with a sweet mid-palate fruitiness but perfectly balanced acidity, the gentle mousse persisting through the finish. 90/100. £26, Asda.