Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Monday, 26 November 2012

More English bubbles: Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006 (England)
12%, Cork, £40
Source: Gift

Perhaps the only criticism that can be levelled at English sparkling wine is that, given their quality and price expectations, so many examples are released too young and with less time on lees than their equivalent premium sparkling counterparts. Indeed, even many top Australian sparkling wines spend more time on lees than the 2 years this wine does.

Given the rampant demand for the best wines, and the youth of the wineries, we aren't going to see this change in the near future either, with early releases and limited lees ageing still the norm.

As a broad generalisation that results in leaner and less complex wines, a factor compounded by the higher levels of natural acidity of England's cooler, more northerly vineyards.

Still, if the sparklings are as perfectly well structured and balanced as this one, then the English sparkling future is assured - late disgorged or not.

Light yellow in colour, the nose looks to be Pinot dominant and classically so. It's quite perfumed even, with great delineation and delicacy. Delicious smelling wine! After such an auspicious start the palate is just a little neutral and skinny, all acid and a hint of young, green apple fruit.

I put this wine down and came back to it about half an hour later and noticed just how delectable that acidity is - its really fine and unforced and natural. Very classy. All that is required now is for the palate to fill out and catch up with that structure, for underneath this is very very fine wine.

Good wine with hints of greatness.

Score: 18.1/93
Would I buy it? The price is hard to justify but still there is interest here. I wouldn't buy it but enjoyed drinking it.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hello English fizz! Ridgeview South Ridge Brut 2008

Ridgeview South Ridge Brut 2008 (Sussex, England)
12%, Cork, Approx £17
Source: Gift
'Product of United Kingdom'. Good to see

It saddens me to admit it but this is the first English sparkling wine I've tried. Not for want of trying however, but purely because almost no English bubbles makes its way to Australia. I'm hoping to rectify that in the coming months however, after lining up an English friend with a 'UK sparkling wishlist' for her next round trip home. Incidentally, Ridgeview are said to be distributed here in Australia by respected importers Mezzanine, though I've never seen wines sold locally in any capacity.

As for this particular sparkling, it is made exclusively for UK chain Laithwaite's and is, from what I can gather, a Chardonnnay dominant blend produce from estate fruit, produced with a dosage of circa 8.5-9.5g/L (I know this purely as the mention that I opened it ultimately led to a response from the winery on twitter. Another twitter win).

The style here initially looks a little broad and chubby, the dosage immediately fleshing out the nose and the fruit leaning more to the sherbety citrus meets green apple end of the spectrum. The more you look at this though, the classier it looks, with a chalkiness to the acid profile matched to a linear finish that is more than a little Champagne-esque.

An entry level wine that shows plenty of style, this is promising if nothing else. A question mark perhaps on the value (given that good supermarket NV Champagne is not much more expensive in English supermarkets) but still enough to keep me interested. 17/90