English Wine Week 2022. A fistful of sparklers.
English Wine Week 2022 runs from Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 June this year. I’ll support the fun by drinking and promoting excellent English* wines.
About English Wine Week 2022
To paraphrase WineGB, they said
“English Wine Week is our national campaign to raise awareness of English wine and its wide availability across the country. From supermarkets to independent wine merchants, hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants. It’s the perfect time to go and visit a vineyard and discover more about this exciting industry and its award-winning wines. Many of them will be opening their doors, offering tours, tastings, special offers and other attractions.”
Some outstanding still wines are being made in white, rosé and red. However, because the sparkling wines from Britain are frequently world-class, my fistful of recommendations this year are all bubbly favourites, all of which use the Classic production method bequeathed to the world by Champagne. These are featured below, with current prices and some examples of UK stockists. In addition, each one also links to my full review, where there are more details, addresses and food suggestions.
A Fistful of Sparklers
Black Chalk Classic, Brut 2018. 12%
Classic is a good description – classic method using the classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. And indeed, it’s a future British classic in waiting. This bottle is “Version II” of 2018, with a complete creamy malolactic fermentation released first. “Version I”, with a partial malolactic, will be released in Summer 2022. Vive la difference, with a Hampshire burr. Grape Britannia, £35.99, Pip Wine, £35.00.
Herbert Hall Brut Rosé. 2018. 12.5%
This complex organic rosé from Kent puts many a Champagne rosé to the sword. Again the classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Fortnum and Mason, £44.oo. Also, Lea and Sandeman, £43.95.
Oxney Organic Estate Rosé, Brut NV. 11%
A firm favourite, grown and made in East Sussex, certified organic. A terrific blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc grape varieties. Vinceremos, Leeds, £24.99; Waitrose £25.99
Lyme Bay Chardonnay, Brut 2020. 12.5%
This Blanc de Blancs from Lyme Bay on the Devon Coast is a buttery example featuring a little light oak toast. The latest 2020 release is at Weaver’s, Nottingham, at £21.50 and Majestic at £22.29 (single bottle) or £16.99 (mixed six). Meanwhile, Vintage 2018 is now developing additional complexity from bottle age, which is £23.25 at Wines with Attitude.
Louis Pommery England, Brut NV. 12%
Pommery was the first Champagne House to release an English Sparkling wine, and there are more on the way. French know-how and grapes but on English soil. Hampshire again, this time with a French accent. Slurp, £35.95, Majestic £29.99 (single bottle) or £22.49 (mix six).
English Wine Week is an excellent opportunity to discover our homegrown wines. It’s also a great time to visit over 200 vineyards while events and promotions take place all over the country. Find out more about those here.
*Wales now has its own week of celebrations.
Meanwhile, inevitably, some great examples aren’t featured here. To assuage my guilt, here’s a link to an older Britfzz article that features many more wineries that are now top of the class. Plus, If you’d like to know more about the history of wine growing in Britain, then check out my short article here.
And now you know why I didn’t include any English sparkling wines in my previous “Summer Bubbles” article. English sparklers deserve a particular moment in the sun!