This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for UK Sparkling over £15 went to Sugrue Pierre, Brut, West Sussex 2011 (12%)

Tasted against:

  • Hattingley Valley, Brut Rosé, Hampshire 2011 • Wiston, Rosé, West Sussex 2011

Profile:

Sugrue-Pierre is made by Dermot Sugrue at Wiston Estate Winery on England’s South Downs. Born in Limerick, Ireland, he started brewing beer at age 15 before graduating to wine a year later.

He moved to England in the 1990s and, after a brief stint as a financial advisor, enrolled in a winemaking degree at Plumpton Collegein Sussex. He became the winemaker at Nyetimber, before meeting Pip Goring who wanted to make wine on her family’s south facing,chalky land at Wiston Estate. Sugrue was won over and joined her in 2006.

This Trophy-winner is a Chardonnay dominantblend, with half the wine fermented in both young and old barriques, sourced largely from Domaine Jacques Prieur in Puligny-Montrachet. ‘The role of the barrels,’says Sugrue, ‘is to impart texture, focus and ageing potential to the wine. We are always looking to experiment and take risks – there’s no rule book here.We do what we feel is best for the wine and what we’re given each year.’

In addition to the French barrels, Wiston Estate boasts a traditional Coquard basket press from Champagne, the only one in England and one of only four found outside France.

Written by Decanter