It's a hell of a year for British bubbly. Waitrose has reported a year-on-year sales increase of 30% compared to the same week last year for English sparkling wine. Meanwhile, Bob Lindo from Camel Valley in Cornwall said he is “struggling to keep up with demand”. Here's 5 of the very best and when to drink them this festive period, courtesy of Berry Bros & Rudd.
2007 Nyetimber, Classic Cuvée, Sussex, England, £29.95
(Left) A blend from the three classic Champagne grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Attractive red fruit aromas, courtesy of the Pinots cede to a rounded palate where notes of brioche and yellow fruit sit harmoniously with white flowers and grilled almonds. A more than worthy match for all but the very best Champagnes.
Pair this with oysters
2007 Gusbourne Estate, Blanc de Blancs, Kent, England, £25.95
(Centre left) Impressively sleek on the palate, with satisfyingly bright fruit and a touch of toastiness. This wine is moderate in length but the acidity wraps things up nicely – but not too obviously. The finish is long and persistent, making this a top notch example of English sparkling wine
2010 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut, Cornwall, England, £31.95
(Centre) This superb Rosé came top in a selection of 90 of England’s best tasted in 2012. Beyond the delicate salmon-peach colour, one detects Pinot’s hall-mark biscuity power. Plenty of red fruit personality ensures balance and pleasure in equal measure.
See in the New Year
2009 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs, Ridgeview Estate, Sussex, England, £26.95
(Centre right) The 2009 Grosvenor is fresh as well as round, lively as well as profound; the ideal sparkling wine in other words. The palate is complex with notes of honey, acacia and orchard fruit vying for attention, then a long and nicely tapered finish. It is now a self-evident truth that the best English wines are better than the majority of Champagnes, and this one is probably the best English sparkling wine of all.
2009 Knightsbridge, Ridgeview Estate, Sussex, England, £26.95
(Right) A deep golden colour presages savoury aromatics and a beautifully refined palate. A rich and extremely satisfying sparkler with patisserie-notes and orchard fruit all harmoniously entwined.