5 Stand-Out English Sparkling Wines

In our latest Wine Advocate issue, Neal Martin finally takes the leap into reviewing English sparkling wine. Why did it take so long to get here? “As a country we lacked the knowledge, the industry or the artistry, the flair,” Martin states. “It’ s not in our blood, our DNA. While Italians created wine to complement black truffles, the English were less motivated perfecting a match for tinned spam.” 

It wasn’t until the 90s, where Martin recalls a particular game-changer for the UK-growing industry: the 1992 Blanc de Blancs from Nyetimber. “Then things changed. Firstly, from humble beginnings the wine industry got its act together. They gained know-how and became more professional, recruiting greater numbers of talented vineyard technicians including winemakers from abroad, some of which had a French accent... (Dust down the guillotine!)” 

Martin covers the history, economic impact for growth and marketing of English sparkling wine, and what the future holds—read his epic full report, complete with 55 tasting notes, in the June Issue of Wine Advocate on RobertParker.com.

In the meantime, get to know these bubbly English wines, all rated 91 points and higher. After all, the time is now to take them seriously. 

2009 Coates & Seely • La Perfide Rosé
“This is very well defined, very classy and yes, to be honest a dead ringer for a fine Champagne.”

2013 Ridgeview • Blanc de Noirs
“Great tension in situ, a sparkling wine that is so tensile that I would mistake it for a Blanc de Blancs if served blind.” 

2013 Wiston Estate • Cuvée Brut
“This has impressive weight and sense of intent.”

2014 Hattingley Valley • Rosé
“Now this is a very impressive sparkling Rosé.”

2013 Gusbourne • Blanc de Blancs
“This feels brisk and lively, an English sparkler with commendable weight and very good persistence.”

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**Hero image courtesy of Wiston Estate

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