2010 Wiston Estate "South Downs Cuvée" Brut West Sussex England
All estate grown fruit. 45% Pinot Noir, 22% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay. Fermented in old oak. Much rounder and fuller than the NV brut, with a very prominent acidity thanks to very low dosage. This would be austere if it wasn't for the luscious fruit and generous complexity. Stylised and avant-garde - but delicious. 17/20 points. (RH)
The most serious and top-notch English Sparkling producer. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The wines are made by Dermot Sugrue, a talented winemaker who has worked at L'Eglise-Clinet and Leoville-Barton in Bordeaux, as well as Moet & Chandon and Nye Timber (one of England's largest sparkling producers). The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After four years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a dosage of 8g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality. After hearing so much buzz about English sparkling wines in the last few years, we had to see what all the fuss was about. After compiling a list of a dozen top growers from the now several hundred estates, we strictly narrowed down the wines to the best of the best; wines we thought offered world-class quality and an authentic representation of what England can offer. We have done a small introductory import of these wines to give you the chance to check them out.