I get a small glow of pride reviewing this wine as I tasted it at a Three Wine Men event and told the Rude Wines team how good it was. I’m delighted to say they agreed with me and listed it. Cottonworth is not one of the best-known English bubbly producers, but it’s definitely a name to keep an eye on if this is typical of future releases. Balanced, elegant and refined, with small bubbles, notes of summer berries and candy floss, a creamy, textured, mid palate and a long, satisfying finish. Great as an aperitif or with a bowl of strawberries.
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2010 Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard, Kent( £60-80, 12% )
An ambitious – and ambitiously priced – single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the producer that continues to lead the English sparkling wine revolution. The bubbles are particularly fine here, the low dosage beautifully judged, the acidity refreshing and citrus-edged, while the bready, leesy, autolysis-influenced flavours linger tantalisingly on the tongue. Classy stuff.
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NV Hambledon, Classic Cuvée, Hampshire( £28.50, 12% )
Sourced from England’s oldest commercial vineyard (we are talking 1952), this blend of the Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is delicious, a fizz that manages to taste English while showing the complexity and nuances of a top Champagne. It’s chalky and dry, with subtle bubbles, hints of fresh pastry and citrus and a tapering finish: elegant, refined and understated.
NV Chapel Down, Vintage Reserve, Kent( £20, 11.5% )
A lees-aged blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from innovative producer, Chapel Down, this is a well-priced English fizz that delivers in the glass. Toasty and malty with refreshing acidity and a dry, savoury finish, showing fine bubbles.
NV Wiston, Cuvée Brut, South Downs( £25, 12%, Corney & Barrow )
A cuvée of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay made on the South Downs by Irish winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, this is a complex, toasty, savoury fizz with fine bubbles, lots of yeasty, bready autolysis and a bone dry, tapering finish. A winery that deserves to be every bit as famous as Nyetimber, Camel Valley and Ridgeview.