Pale salmon in colour, a basket full of freshly-picked summer berries backed by the tell-tale, mouth-watering English acidity – these pink delights are wines made for summer and glorious celebrations.
In fact, rosé is likely to become ‘one of the most important styles made in Britain over the next 10 to 20 years,’ as Oz Clarke put it in his 2020 book on English wines*.
The top examples of English sparkling rosés tend to be made mainly from the red Champagne grapes using the traditional method, with the best bottles capable of ageing for decades. In her feature in the July issue of the Decanter magazine, Susy Atkins highlighted the ‘fresh snap of acidity’ and the ‘subtle raspberry-ripple ice-creaminess’ that make them perfect apéritifs and great pairing partners for light canapes.
The delicate and poised charm also applies to still English rosés, where blossom, wild berries and stone fruits are met with crunchy apple acidity, zingy citrus and a touch of minerals on the palate. Some producers may choose to venture beyond the Pinots for diversity and introduce oak for polished mouthfeel.
In time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we have listed up our top English sparkling and still rosés tasted by the Decanter team in the last year, with buying links attached.
There are more value choices among the still pinks than the fizz – if the plan is to celebrate the national spirit with something British but not too pricy. Although the best pink sparklers are true manifestations of the skills and achievements of English producers in the last decade – you may well be surprised.
*Clarke, Oz. English Wine: From still to sparkling: The NEWEST New World wine country. 1st Edition, Pavilion, 2020.