English wine is changing at a bewildering pace. Spurred on by the sparkling wine successes of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the fields of Southern England have seen plantings on an unprecedented scale over the last decade; there are ambitious new producers of Traditional Method Sparkling Wine, boutique operations, negociants, and even still wine specialists, all vying for a piece of the positivity surrounding the industry. As vintage 2021 faces challenges not only from the sort of weather found at the extremities of the world’s viticultural map, but also by the twin disruptions of Covid and Brexit, how are the newer names faring against those a generation (or more) ahead? Is the rapid growth being seen sustainable?
Tom Hewson’s Special Report is based on a blind tasting of over 250 English wines, still and sparkling, undertaken in August 2021. With 58 pages of tasting notes, scores, awards, background and analysis, it is the most comprehensive wine-by-wine report yet published.