Rule Britannia! Rule’Britagne’!

by Patrick Sandeman

This week we tasted COATES & SEELY’s first release of sparkling wine from their chalk hill vineyards in England’s green and pleasant Hampshire, a rather pretty rosé made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and are delighted to be among the very first stockists in our four shops and on our website.

Coates & Seely - The First Release

Nick Coates and Christian Seely have been chums since they were at business school together, before heading off to follow different careers. The former went into the heady world of finance in the City of London, while the latter headed off to France to forge a career in the world of wine. In 2006 they hatched a plot, Nick having had enough of the City, and Christian successfully heading up AXA’s interests in Bordeaux (Pichon Baron and Suduiraut) and Portugal (Quinta do Noval) as well as his own interests in France and Portugal, together with his French wife, Corinne, a winemaker of course.

Their dream of making great sparkling wine in Hampshire, that would reflect the best of the English chalk terroir together with the established craft of the French winemaker, came alive when they discovered an all but abandoned vineyard in one of Hampshire’s most beautiful and best sited valleys.

Their first release is a very pretty rosé made entirely from the 2009 vintage, and delicately pale as a result of the briefest contact of the juice with the skins. Medium bodied, the delicate sweetness of cranberry and strawberry fruit is beautifully tempered by a sherbert acidity and delicate mousse, making it a lovely wine for an English summer day.

Rule Britannia! Rule ‘Britagne’!