No way I’d drink English sparkling before trying much more European… There’s a vineyard started here in east Yorkshire… About 3 years old wants £25 a pop… Ridiculous
That’s fair enough - and it terms of vfm it definitely won’t beat a good Cremant, for example. I would say, however, that perhaps unlike very new producers in the North, quite a number of producers in the South (Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Bolney, Chapel Down etc.) have been around for at least 20 years now, so you’ll certainly be getting older vines here. Many of them have now got enough wines in reserve to produce consistently good NVs.
Not cheap - how could it be with land and labour cost being what they are, in a tiny industry?- but in my opinion some are world class sparkling wines, and it feels great to support a good/excellent local product
You can’t change the weather though. Put your nyetimber side by side with sparkling wines from J Vineyards (Sonoma) or Klein Constantia (South Africa) and it becomes really apparent, no matter how much cellar manipulation is used.
That is certainly true; but if the benchmark is Champagne (and according to Oz Clarke the weather in Sussex/Kent is similar to Champagne 20 years ago), then the South of England is far closer in style, climate and soil than Sonoma or Klein Constantia.
English producers are aware that theirs are sparkling wines which are all about searing acidity and a very English fruit profile. Personally, I love it. It perhaps won’t be to everyone’s palate - but then what wines are? The more styles and expressions - the better.
I would agree with that. The unripe green apple flavour profile never attracted me (and I love green apples, btw, especially the lovely golden ones you get from - guess where? - France).
But even in Champagne, you will find wines that can have a level of complexity on par with white Burgundian wines. Selosse would be a good example of this.
As a matter of interest, how much do you have to pay for that complexity?
This is certainly true of some examples, but the producers who experiment - for example with barrel fermentation/ageing, and with getting the blend of the varietals to show their best, are producing wines with much more depth and complexity of flavour than the perennial unripe apple.
Wiston Estate Cuvee (2015, and my fizz for Xmas day) for example, has delicate honey, nuts and nougat, as well as orchard fruit (no unripe apple or pear here ). Their 2011 BdB is a stunning wine, with pineapple, nuts and lemon meringue flavours which just go on and on. Exton Park Brut NV also leans towards the tropical (passion fruit, pineapple) as well as citrus… And there are plenty other examples.
I’m not trying to convert you, mind you. And I don’t think anyone can seriously suggest that ESWs offer value for money when compared with sparkling wines from around the world. But if we talk about style, and a sense of place - and I may be getting stupidly romantic here - they sing of the Downs, and of chalk, and of the beautiful English countryside…
Not that much, if you are willing to look outside Champagne for sparkling wines.
Here are some examples of wines bought by other members of this community that, in my view, are real vfm and, from a complexity and flavour profile, are as good as anything I’ve tasted recently (especially the Cap Classique, which, at £15.69, is a real steal).
Thanks for those tips. We’re very fortunate in this country to be able to buy wines from all over the world.
But there is something about buying local wines that we all like, isn’t there? We all do it when we travel😀
Within a short drive of my house we have Denbies, High Clandon, Greyfriars, Chilworth Manor and Albury Estate. These vary in size and quality, and are not necessarily the best vfm, but on the right occasion in the right place they can be wonderful.
I’m a huge fan of buying native and heritage products and I’m a huge supporter of local and national producers. I just don’t want anyone thinking that buying greenhouse-grown passion fruit from the outer Hebrides is covered by that.
Yeah think there wine is good but just order the wine I like from them individually as often have deals if your order 12 or more bottles and having ordered a few times from them I know which ones are really good. Some or the Babera and Primativos are superb often at about £7 a bottle.
Love the Wiston Cuvee 2015. Not that you were asking for advice, but if anyone else has some for the first time, I’ve had a couple now, with varying bottle age, and I can say that an extra 6 months post-disgorgement definitely adds some depth and complexity; and if you open it, let it warm up a little from fridge temperature, and give it half an hour, the acidity is a bit less pronounced and it’s really delicious!
Now all Wiston need to do is put it on a proper case discount and I’ll have an excuse to go back for more…
These are good tips! Thank you
Not wine, but for anyone who likes Baileys, £9.50 for a litre in Tesco (Clubcard price) ends tomorrow.
You’re definitely missing out , there are some incredible ESWs about .
I disagree, put your 2009 Nyetimber up against either of those and it will give you a run for money .
Well made ESWs from established estates are fair competition for excellent Champagne and I would be careful about quoting Selosse as an outstanding producer given the variability of his champagnes with the methods he uses.
ESWs have come along way from where they started off and given they receive no funding like the Champenois or other establish wine regions they are doing a cracking job at producing such fantastic wines . It’s worth drinking widely within the range to fully appreciate the complexity and intricacies ESWs offer.
6 bottles of champagne 2 mummy 2 tattinger 2 v cliq £130 latest offer prices. Show me any esw that can even begin to compare. They can’t even get close to v cliq 2012 6 for £180 . There seems to be a distinct smugness about this product, I can easily imagine the Eurocrats generally bathing in it. Because that is it’s best use
You do realise WHY there are such good deals on Champagne right now don’t you ??
They’ve had no tourists this year to purchase their wine and have to get rid of it as they need the space for this years vintage . ESW can continue to sell their much smaller quantities online domestically and to the market demand without dropping their prices! @inbar has already mentioned why ESWs cost more to produce than Champagne! There are labour costs, land price costs, production costs etc… etc… with NO funding or grants awarded to them from government agencies unlike our French counterparts.
House Champagne such as the ones you have mentioned, will fail to reach the levels of complexity some of the ESWs can and let’s remember these are mass produced “good” quality champagnes which are by no means outstanding or worthy of elevated status .
In quality ? Hands down !
Just my view but Nyetimber NV is a much better purchase than VC, Mumm or Tattinger. Fairly often available at £27, so not hugely different in terms of price.
But each to their own!
If I may chime in, but the few times I’ve had Nyetimber I have found it to be (trying to temper my words here, but sorry)…awful.
I do like Camel Valley, and I like what Chapel Down knock out. I can see there signs of competitionfor Champagne, but nowhere near the standard of VC vintage (which is only vintage Champagne I know well).
As for pricing, supermarkets are sitting on massive stocks of everything whilst we transition from one set of Eurocrats in Brussels to the other set in Geneva. Joy.
I guess this is the great thing about wine. Everyone has their own taste
For me, Nyetimber BdB 1998 (magnum) absolutely smashed a bottle of Cristal 2004. Bit of a price difference between the two.
One thing the French do get right in my view is championing their local produce!