With summer around the corner, it is time to stock up on some crisp and delicate English fizz and still wines. From classy Champagne-style bubbles to perfumed still and sparkling rosé, to increasingly elegant and charming Pinots and whites, here are our top recommendations, tasted by the Decanter team this spring. All wines are above 90 points.
Among the traditional method sparkling wines, Nyetimber’s 2014 Tillington, the 2018 Classic, Langham Wine Estate’s Blanc de Blancs 2018, and Hattingley Valley’s Kings Cuvée 2014 are among our favourites, achieving complexity and texture while maintaining the tell-tale crisp acidity of English bubbles.
The beautifully poised and concentrated Demi-Sec 2017 from Raimes is there for savouring on its own. It’s also worth mentioning the topical 2022 Platinum Jubilee Release from the Royal Collection Trust, a food-friendly charmer designed for not only royal but all kinds of festive occasions.
From the league of pink sparklers, the elegantly textured Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV, a blend of 90% Chardonnay and a dash of Pinot, will most certainly brighten up your summer. Still rosés such as the ‘Mary Rose’ Pinot Noir 2020 of Balfour Winery are bright and pretty like baskets of freshly picked berries.
Among the reds, Gusbourne’s single varietal Pinot Meunier 2020, with its spiced dark and red berries, is a treat. While Balfour’s ‘Gatehouse’ Pinot Noir, from the same vintage, is especially impressive with its structural charm.
The selection below also includes some of the highlights from our 2021 Christmas recommendations.
The latest on wines of the UK
Now with 3,800ha of land under vine, a 70% increase in the last five years, wine-growing has become one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK, according to the national trade organisation Wine GB.
While sparkling wines still account for 64% of the country’s total wine production, a third of the share is now taken up by a wide range of still wines.