Just off the A31 not far from Dorchester in the heart of Dorset lies Langham Estate, the first stop on a vinous tour of some of the UK’s best sparkling wine producers.
Being French and both a wine professional and wine lover, visiting Nyetimber was a great and enlightening experience. The quality of the wines being made here is really impressive, Les Champanois need to pay attention!
With eager anticipation we gathered. On the day that marked Back to the Future Day, we were jouneying back before Marty McFly to a time when the height of sophistication was a cheese and wine party. But there were to be no cubes of supermarket cheddar and pineapple on cocktail sticks for us, we were going to do cheese properly.
Is there’s a better way to spend an August Friday at “work” than wandering through a verdant Kentish vineyard with the sun glinting through the foliage and a gentle breeze wafting up from the sea?
Following on form Gusbourne Estate’s recent award ‘2013 IWSC English Wine Producer of the Year’, they were also featured last night in BBC2’s ’12 Drinks of Christmas’ with Giles Coren and Alexander Armstrong: https://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b03mjypr/
For west Londoners tonight is Barnes Late Night Shopping evening, when the High Street will be buzzing and as usual the best mulled wine will be at Lea & Sandeman - come on down and enjoy the festive atmosphere - it's only going to be raining lightly, which, if this morning is anything to go, by means unnoticeably, especially if you have some of our famous mulled wine inside you.
The theme, such as you need a theme beyond ‘Christmas’, was to put a few less likely wines in front of people, to test and tantalize the taste-buds. With that in mind, we left out the traditional option of Champagne, and kicked off with the very splendid Gusbourne 2008 Brut Reserve from the Garden of England, a zippy but textured fizz that works really well as an aperitif.
All of these from our extensive Christmas fizz offer made it into the top choices for the FT from Jancis' recent festive fizz survey: BARNAUT Blanc de Noirs Brut Grand Cru Bouzy "Big and brawny.
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.