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English wines from the glorious 2018



As I’m sitting here sweating as if I were back in Israel, I am happily reminded of last summer, and the bumper crop for English vineyards. The yield was so high, that - in a recent visit to a winery in Sussex- we were told some wineries had to ‘dump’ perfectly good Pinot Noir grapes, due to lack of capacity and not enough wine presses :scream:

So… has anyone had any particular good examples from 2018 yet? I am hoping to open this little curio in the coming weeks:


And this shall be my first of the vintage. Would love to hear if you have any other recommendations ! :grinning: :clinking_glasses:


This is a lovely inexpensive just off dry white, the lightness comes into its own on a hot day:


I loved the 2017 of this! I wonder if the 2018 is even riper?


I’d second @NickFoster on the 2018 silver jubilee white. Lovely to drink on its own on a hot day.:sunglasses:


I think the only English 2018 I’ve tried so far was at the TWS Summer Press Tasting.

Quirky, and quite nice, but don’t recall being convinced it was good value for money, my one disclaimer being that Freddy Bulmer indicated it probably needed more time in bottle…

2019 should be a ripe one too. Perhaps they’ll use the crop to blend “The Boris”, or “The Brexit” or some such. :crazy_face:


This is currently in the fridge, probably for tomorrow:

Not something I’d normally buy to be honest, but it got a good write up at the reduced price in the press (along with a wine from Flint IIRC).


The Chapel Down in a perfect summer quaffer, in my opinion! I had the 2016 a couple times, once as an aperitif, once with oysters, and it was good both times. The 2016 was a blend of 8 varieties (majority Chardonnay, if I remember correctly), but not sure whether they change the blend slightly every year.

Let us know how you got on with it! :+1:


The Chapel Down Flint Dry is the pressings of the standard sparkling along with the other Germanic varieties (not Bacchus tho) so would guess at the 8 varieties to be:
Chard, PN, + Reichensteiner, Ortega, Seyval Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Madeleine Angevine & Schonburger (maybe Scheurebe instead of Ortega, I can’t quite remember)


this bacchus impressed on a swift visit to their winery shop
bought a couple. their lesser wines were good but this stood out.


will be drinking Chapel down Bacchus at post funeral do later today.
£12 at sainsburys


I like The Mixup but it could just as easily (trademarks notwithstanding) be called The Marmite - a room-splitter of a wine (as the notes from Community attenders at our press tasting showed).

For a straight bat very well played, I highly recommend this one. A proper picnic wine with all the fresh lime, gooseberry and hedgerow style of the grape but a bit more presence and intensity than usual from the vintage


I can second this recommendation after trying a glass at a picnic yesterday - the perfect sunny-day thirst-quencher!


I find this a little concerning; everything I’ve read about vine growing seems to suggest that a really big yield is bad for flavour. I’ve seen loads of comments describing growers clipping off grape bunches early on when yield is looking like it might be too large to reduce the yield and concentrate the flavours. And don’t some appellations actually impose maximum yield levels for this reason?

Have I missed something?


Also at Waitrose


You’re absolutely right. Usually a big yield equals diluted flavours, so things like green harvesting or dense planting of vines are practiced.

I think what we’re talking about here, though, is a bumper yield in the context of a usual English vintage. Most English plots (at least the ones I’ve visited in Sussex) are too small to cause any concern regarding diluted flavours. If anything, it was one of the first years - from what I understand - where we can expect very ripe flavours, where chaptalisation would not be necessary as the fruit does all the work.

It was quite sad to hear, though, about perfectly healthy ripe grapes being wasted for lack of capacity. But the industry is so small, and wineries have such limited equipment, that it’s no surprise really. It caught everyone unawares!


Really impressed with the Chapel Down Flint I mentioned earlier in the thread.

Loads of fruit but well balanced, a real pleasing easy drinker, astounding value at £8.50!


Glad you enjoyed the Chapel Down Flint, @Aaronb! :slight_smile:

Have also linked my notes on the English wine I had yesterday.


Just got an email from Bluebell Vineyards with the news that they’re launching a range of their first ever still wines. Got quite excited to read that one of their wines is a 100% Chasselas:

… so going to order it, for curiosity’s sake! :face_with_monocle: