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.
Laithwaites only makes 999 bottles of this wine (spot the marketing spin), but it’s a pretty impressive English take on a Blanc de Blancs Champagne, with small bubbles, creamy autolysis and a bready, refreshing finish. The acidity is just a little raw perhaps.
The focus is rightly on English sparkling wines, rather than the unfizzy stuff, but this fruit salad blend of five grapes is well worth trying, especially at only £6. It’s got that classic English bouquet of hedgerows and elderflowers, combined with some stony, minerally notes. On the palate it’s crisp and just off dry with crunchy acidity and bright grapefruit and green apple flavours. An excuse to buy British, or rather English.
Just when you were beginning to think that English fizz is a little over-hyped, along comes a stylish, well-priced number like this Pinot Noir-based cuvée. Coral pink in colour, showing some toasty, yeasty bottle development on the nose, small bubbles and a savoury, wild strawberry finish. One to baffle a French wine snob with.