English red of the year
Had a taste of the Diamond Hills 2016 pinot last night by @limneyfarm
. It’s one of the best English pinot displays I’ve seen so far.
Bright cherries, slightly herbal, some soft spices (clove?), charred wood, and the ever so faintest hint of game. Good body and balance: a real delight to drink.
English sparkling rosé of the year
Wow, wow, wow. This was the ‘wine’ for me in terms of sparkling rosé, I never understood the fuss before. This is lovely. Fresh, stone fruits, some red fruits, floral, well textured.
Other fantastic wines I loved this year
This was an IWC Gold Winner and it really shows. Very elegant, lemon, apples, brioche, really gentle autolysis. Smooth mousse. Drank as a toast in the morning one day and a brilliant morning toast it was indeed.
Very different style to what I’m drinking at the moment (Provencal rosé), but a delight. Way more strawberries than I expected. Taste of Wimbledon.
Best display of English white I’ve seen yet. Lemon peel/rind, grapey, acid doesn’t feel overpowering. Bit of peach. Bacchus, Ortega, Faber, Siegerrebe and Huxelrebe.
Amazing rosé from London urban winery Blackbook Winery. Grapes are sourced from a farm in Essex, which produces this refreshingly complex rosé.
For many people, rosé means Provence and with good reason. They definitely make incredible wine there. However, the style has so much more to offer than just ultra crisp, light fruit, quaffers. Blackbook’s offers a much wider palate that is definitely worth exploring.
After getting back from my Hungary trip, I wanted to settle into something lighter weight and familiar. Sergio’s pinot hits that spot. It’s incredibly light in colour, almost rosé-esque. It’s got a savouriness to it that matches as well.
It develops well over an hour or so. Complexity builds until you’ve got refreshing, soft red fruits, gentle spice and mild greenery in the background. One to watch.
This is one of my favourite English sparklers I’ve had. A great brioche autolytic nose, appley fruit, with a really gentle mousse. This is one of England’s few organic wines and a real delight to try.
Pinot Noir, Chapel Down, 2014
Chapel Down - now England’s largest winemaker - deliver with this, and incredibly affordable too (under £15). English pinot flirts with a balance between herbaceousness and fruit from an English countryside. This leans on the fruit with a soft herbaceousness that feels very English.