Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

95

2010 Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard, Kent

£60-80, 12%,

An ambitious - and ambitiously priced - single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the producer that continues to lead the English sparkling wine revolution. The bubbles are particularly fine here, the low dosage beautifully judged, the acidity refreshing and citrus-edged, while the bready, leesy, autolysis-influenced flavours linger tantalisingly on the tongue. Classy stuff. 

 

 
 

90

NV Hambledon, Classic Cuvée, Hampshire

£28.50, 12%, Berry Brother & Rudd; Fareham Wine Cellars; The General Wine Company

Sourced from England's oldest commercial vineyard (we are talking 1952), this blend of the Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is delicious, a fizz that manages to taste English while showing the complexity and nuances of a top Champagne. It's chalky and dry, with subtle bubbles, hints of fresh pastry and citrus and a tapering finish: elegant, refined and understated. 

 

 
 

91

NV Chapel Down, Vintage Reserve , Kent

£20, 11.5%,

A lees-aged blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from innovative producer, Chapel Down, this is a well-priced English fizz that delivers in the glass. Toasty and malty with refreshing acidity and a dry, savoury finish, showing fine bubbles. 

 

 
 

92

NV Wiston, Cuvée Brut, South Downs

£25, 12%, Corney & Barrow

A cuvée of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay made on the South Downs by Irish winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, this is a complex, toasty, savoury fizz with fine bubbles, lots of yeasty, bready autolysis and a bone dry, tapering finish. A winery that deserves to be every bit as famous as Nyetimber, Camel Valley and Ridgeview. 

 

 
 

90

2007 Laithwaites Theale Vineyards Blanc de Blancs Founder's Reserve

£23, 12%, Laithwaite

Laithwaites only makes 999 bottles of this wine (spot the marketing spin), but it’s a pretty impressive English take on a Blanc de Blancs Champagne, with small bubbles, creamy autolysis and a bready, refreshing finish. The acidity is just a little raw perhaps.

 

 
 

88

2011 Three Choirs Regalia, Gloucestershire

£6, 12%, Asda

The focus is rightly on English sparkling wines, rather than the unfizzy stuff, but this fruit salad blend of five grapes is well worth trying, especially at only £6. It's got that classic English bouquet of hedgerows and elderflowers, combined with some stony, minerally notes. On the palate it's crisp and just off dry with crunchy acidity and bright grapefruit and green apple flavours. An excuse to buy British, or rather English. 

ChickenFish

 

 
 

90

NV Bolney Estate Cuvée Rosé, Sussex

£24.99, 12.5%, Naked Wines

Just when you were beginning to think that English fizz is a little over-hyped, along comes a stylish, well-priced number like this Pinot Noir-based cuvée. Coral pink in colour, showing some toasty, yeasty bottle development on the nose, small bubbles and a savoury, wild strawberry finish. One to baffle a French wine snob with.