9 Bottles Of English Sparkling The Experts Love
9 Bottles Of English Sparkling The Experts Love

9 Bottles Of English Sparkling The Experts Love

While champagne was once revered as the crème de la crème, today, English sparkling wines are winning more awards in international competitions – and have got traditional French producers looking over their shoulders. Why? The southern counties of England share many geological and climate characteristics with the Champagne region, with chalky soils and mild summers serving as the ideal combination for producing high quality sparkling wines. Here, we asked some of the industry’s leading wines experts and sommeliers to choose their favourite bottles.
By Harriet Russell

Nutty Vintage Brut 2017, £25.50

Co-director of Gladwin Brothers, Richard Gladwin says…

This wine starts with notes of green apple before bigger honeysuckle flavours appear in the after taste. It comes from a family vineyard in West Sussex – a boutique winery with a small team. Everything is done by hand and although not organic, the vineyard is bio-diverse and promotes the wildlife within it to look after the vines with minimal intervention. For me, sparkling is always good drunk on its own, but I do like opening a bottle of this at the end of a meal with a hard goat’s cheese. Perfect for a Friday evening at home.”

Available here

Wiston Brut NV £29.50

Vind founder William Sandbach says…

“Hailing from the Sussex South Downs, this wine has depth, richness and maturity – I love the green apple and honey flavours, all of which are balanced by the juicy, citrus acidity. This non-vintage is actually a combination of several vintages. Made in the champagne method with the champagne grape varieties, it’s 35% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and 30% pinot meunier. It would go best with charcuterie, cheese and rich pasta dishes.”

Available here

NV Langham Rosé, £32.25

Wine expert & founder of Jukes Cordialities, Matthew Jukes says…

“This is one of the silkiest rosé wines produced in the UK. There is a juiciness about it, and while Langham tends to keep a low profile, every time I come across these wines, I’m reminded that they’re very much a hidden gem. The overall blend is 46% pinot noir, 18% pinot meunier and 36% chardonnay, all taken from the Crawthorne vineyard, and the base vintage of this blend is the great 2018. If you’re a fan of tender, smooth, elegant wines, you’ll find it hard to better this one and it also goes with all manner of dishes. I favour sushi and sashimi with a wine of this style.”

Available here

Fox & Fox 'Mosaic' Brut NV, £32

Chief wine officer & sommelier at Good Pair Days, Banjo Harris Plane says…

“Being 50/50 chardonnay and pinot noir, this is another shining example of just how good English fizz really is. The Mosaic is intense, loaded with bruised apple, citrus notes, and a peachy ripeness up top. Around 18 months lees ageing in the bottle has given this wine a truly sumptuous breadth on the palate – rich, rounded and full bodied. It’s bursting with lime, lemon peel and apple notes, along with hints of vanilla, grass, honey, brioche, yeast, pastry, and toast. Ideal with a summer salad.”

Available here

Hattingley Valley Rosé Vintage 2018, £36

Wine buyer at The Hand & Flowers, Gavin Hills says…

“What I love about this rosé is the delicacy of the wine, the soft pink hues, the bright crunchy red fruit and dark bramble notes – the flavours are so precise and vibrant. The grapes are grown out of the most amazing of chalk soils – nicknamed the Hattingley Jewels – in Hampshire and the extended lees ageing softens the acidity to create a unique rose that pairs well with fresh fish, light salads or just to drink on its own. Personally, I would save it for a cost night in to really enjoy the depth and complexity on offer.”

Available here

Furleigh Estate Classic Cuvée Brut, £32.99

Head buyer at The Whisky Exchange, Dawn Davies says…

“This is fantastic value for money and really great quality. If you like champagne, this is really similar in style, only with those lovely vibrant fresh apple crumble notes that are so typical of English wines. It comes from Dorset, which explains that lovely toasty, orchard apple note even more and beautiful minerality on the finish – it’s perfect with fish and chips or just to drink with friends on a warm summer evening.”

Available here

Henners Foxearle English Sparkling Brut 2016, £34.99

Virgin Wines buyer Sophie Lord says…

“Henners Foxearle is made by a three-person team at the vineyard’s coastal location in Sussex – a place with a similar climate and soil to the Champagne region in France. Henners vineyard also only makes vintage wines in the best years, and this 2016 offering comprises only 5,000 bottles. The Foxearle is fresh, lively and elegant, with vibrant acidity and classic English flavours such as toasted, buttered brioche, slices of fresh red apple and lemon nougat. In my view, it’s such a quality wine, it’s best enjoyed as a standalone event. That said, it definitely has a springtime feel to it and would be a wonderful addition to Easter tables this year.”

Available here

Oxney Estate Organic Classic 2017, £37

Founder of Wine-der-lust, Linda McIntosh says…

“This wine comes from East Sussex and if you’re after a Bollinger contender, look no further. A classic ‘champagne’ blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, this combination of baked apple notes with a touch of pastry is exactly what I like in a sparkling wine. The weight, rounded softness and complexity makes it so much more than just another delicate, fresh, fizz – in fact, it probably explains why a lot of the big champagne houses are buying land around this estate! Perfect for a summer garden party this year.” 

Available here

Gusbourne 2017 Rosé, Brut, English Sparkling Wine, £49

Our Sommelier founder Arlene King says…

“The Gusbourne rosé is my top pick when it comes to English sparkling wine. It’s soft, elegant and vibrant, with the grapes grown on the south-facing ancient escarpment in Appledore and Goodwood in Sussex. Perfect for summer parties, Mother’s Day, and christenings, the flavours of ripe strawberries and cherries explode on the palate, followed by ripe stone fruit of peach with a hint of honey and a creamy smooth finish. Serve it as an aperitif with cold cuts, seafood platters, as well as light salads or cheese.”

Available here

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