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Top 10 English wines of DWWA 2020

The Gold, Platinum and Best in Show medal winners from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards...

English wines were awarded a record number of medals at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards with 21 counties across the UK represented.

A total of 155 wines received a medal including 46 Bronze, 94 Silver, five Gold, three Platinum and two Best in Show medals – the competition’s ultimate accolade.

Best in Show: The top 50 wines of DWWA 2020

‘I think it’s terrific of England’s success’ says DWWA Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW in a recent article by Harry Wallop in The Times.

‘I am not that surprised because I have watched the growth in quality over time, but nonetheless everyone’s quality around the world is improving and 17,000 different wines were competing. It’s a wonderful achievement. And I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan.’

Scroll down to see the top 10 English wines, plus tasting notes, from DWWA 2020

Evans MW continues, ‘We’ve got past the stage of anyone being apologetic about people serving English sparkling wine. There’s no question among the international wine trade that it is a serious category.’

Awarded a minimum of 95 points and re-tasted up to four separate times in the judging process, the Gold, Platinum and Best in Show English wines below offer outstanding examples of the high quality wines – still, sparkling and sweet – that England is able to produce.

DWWA 2020: Top 10 English wines

(select the wine of interest for wine details and stockists)

Roebuck Estates, Classic Cuvee Brut, West Sussex 2014

Best in Show, 97 points
A pale, silvery hue and a stream of fine bubbles, followed by keen, ultra-fresh aromas in which the graceful, creamy notes of fine Chardonnay mingle with deeper fruits from the two Pinots: apple, pear, quince. Everything sketched out on the nose is delivered with great precision and focus on the palate in this refined and searching wine, and its length and persistence on the finish is testament to the kind of slow acquisition of phenolic (or flavour) ripeness which Southern England’s climate now permits. That vivacity and assurance are re-defining the boundaries for northern, high-latitude sparkling wine creation: taste it here.

Simpsons Wine Estate, The Roman Road Chardonnay, Kent 2018

Best in Show, 97 points
For the second year running, England (and Kent) has stepped up to the Best-In-Show challenge with a still Chardonnay wine of starry quality. That doesn’t, of course, mean something the colour of a buttercup and with a lush and flamboyantly nutty scent; this wine is green-silver pale and aromatically very shy: a little slight teasing creaminess, just hinting at both flowers and fruit without actually cashing in on the promise with a suite of emphatic allusions. On the palate, it is pure and vivacious, lively and dancing: a spring-fresh Chardonnay of great grace whose pleasures are almost amplified by their restraint, and by the resulting drinkability and gastronomic amenability of the wine. Fine vineyards and a fine season have come together to memorable effect here.

Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvée, Kent 2014

Platinum, 97 points
Fantastically complex, with a nose laden with cinnamon, brioche, apple blossom, red apples, butter and white mushrooms. Excellent fruit concentration on a powerful palate, which is long, fresh and rich despite the Extra Brut style.

Chapel Down, Three Graces, Kent 2015

Platinum, 97 points
Bold and opulent, with a plush nose of cinnamon-coated baked apples, spun sugar, oats and custard, then a soft yet crisp palate revealing layers of intense apricot, red apple, nuts and toast. Still retains plenty of age-worthy freshness.

The Grange, Pink, Hampshire NV

Platinum, 97 points
Wonderful fragrance, elegance and concentration, possessing layers of raspberry, red currant and hedgerow fruits, run through with toast and nuts, before a very long finale.

Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs, Kent 2014

Gold, 95 points
Rich, weighty and long, with aromas of button mushroom, brown sugar, apricot danish and candied lemon peel, then refreshing acidity through a soft mousse which shows wholemeal bread, fresh lemons and ripe apricot.

Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Chardonnay, Kent 2017

Gold, 95 points
Complex and structured, with fresh acidity balanced by huge fruit including bruised apple, apricot and tart peach, with overtones of smoke, butter and vanilla.

Denbies, The Brokes Botrytis Ortega, Surrey 2016

Gold, 96 points
Dense and concentrated, with excellent fruit. This is elegant, complex and rounded, revealing nectarine, honey, candied lemon and brown sugar, with enlivening acidity giving it a moreish character.

Gusbourne, Blanc de Noirs, Kent 2016

Gold, 95 points
Fragrant and multi-layered, with concentrated, elegant strawberry and redcurrant, wrapped in refreshing acidity and fleshed out by toasty autolytic notes, finally revealing almond and peach stone.

Hoffmann & Rathbone, Blanc de Blancs Brut, East Sussex 2012

Gold, 95 points
Long and racy, with crunchy acidity driving concentrated baked apples and citrus, underscored by an attractive autolytic complexity.

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