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UK sparkling over £10

Find out who won the regional trophy for over £10. And the winner is...

2007 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs

Some 30 years, Mike Roberts, head of multi-award winning RidgeView Estate, was taking the day off from his then-job as the financial director of an international public company and found himself at the Melbourne Cup.

Thinking he ought to enter into the spirit of the day and place a bet, he looked in a local paper and saw a horse called “Champagne Boy” and put $5 on the 35/1 outsider which duly came in first. Mike often wonders if this was an omen of things to come!

Created in 1995, RidgeView Estate is without doubt the UK’s most consistent quality sparkling wine producer. Whilst (a very few) others may challenge it for winning medals and awards for their sparkling wines, none can match the Robert’s output for variety and consistency, year after year.

This is demonstrated by winning, for the second year in a row, the UK Trophy with their Chardonnay-based Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs. Whereas in 2001, it was the 2006 vintage which won the trophy – and went on to win the trophy for best sparkling wine from any country – this year it is the 2007 vintage that triumphed.

Mike Roberts says: “What we set out to create with the Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs is a wine that reflects the uniqueness of our site – perhaps what others might call the terroir.

The Chardonnay we grow at RidgeView produces a wine with a backbone of acidity with an undertone of minerality and a touch of tropical fruit.”

Although their supply base now stretches across several hundred miles of the counties on Kent, East and West Sussex and Hampshire, the 2007 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs comes from the Chardonnay vines, now 16 years old, which surround the winery.

This patch of vines, with its roots now digging into the chalk below, were also responsible for producing last year’s winner, the 2006 vintage of the same wine.

The 2007 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs has a superb, lingering, mouth-watering acidity, backed up by considerable fruit on the middle palate and very good length and, if anything, is slightly longer and fuller than the 2006. In terms of sheer enjoyment, its one of the best sparkling wines I have ever tasted.

Written by Stephen Skelton

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