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In blind sparkling wine tastings that I have hosted English Sparkling Wine has shocked participants who often vote it their favourite even when pitched against vintage and non-vintage champagne and 9 times out of 10 think it is champagne. Read more on the similarities between English Sparkling Wine and Champagne. I tasted a lot of English Sparkling Wines to find the right one for my portfolio. This wine wasn't even bottled when I first tasted it but it was by far my favourite after a lot of trials! Here's my Tweet after that first taste.
Fortunately for us this wine is now bottled and labelled and I am so pleased to have received an allocation - Lyme Bay Classic Cuvée made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in Devon and in Dorset respectively. It is still relatively young so some of the 2013 vintage is being kept on its lees for a while to age it further - Lyme Bay’s winemaker Liam Idzikowski describes the wine as “a beautiful baby”. The wine in bottle however drinks beautifully now and will continue to develop its richness as it matures further in bottle.
This vintage sparkling wine is rich and mouth-filling and because of its youth it has a lovely perfume to it - juicy red fruits and rosewater. The floral character comes from Pinot Noir, the majority grape in this wine (which it has in common with Bollinger). The flavours are complex - citrus and apple with slight hints of peach, honey and almond. Made from champagne grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that have been grown on similar soils to the Champagne region, this amazing sparkling wine is produced by the champagne method and could easily be mistaken for champagne. It is a little less biscuity than some champagnes because of its young age but the fruits and that lovely hint of roses make this a very elegant wine. This English Sparkling Wine should come with a warning; it is so delicious!
Drink on its own, with canapés, smoked salmon and other oil fish like mackerel, caviar, shellfish including lobster, fish, chicken, turkey, mushrooms, truffles, parmesan cheese, sheep's cheese, mildly spiced South East Asian food, fruit based desserts
"The Classic Cuvée is a blend from the noble Champagne varieties Pinot Noir (81%) and Chardonnay (19%). The grapes were carefully hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed, with only the best press cuttings going into the wine. After a slow, cold, natural settle, the juice was inoculated for primary fermentation, with a portion of the juice going into barrel to add complexity and mouth feel. The wine was bottled for secondary fermentation the following spring, and remained on-lees for a minimum of 24 months to develop the secondary yeast flavours, before been disgorged and given time under cork before release.
The Classic Cuvée is an elegant sparkling wine, showing a depth of citrus and stone fruits flavours, along with the more complex secondary aromas of cooked apples, breadcrumbs, honey and almond.
TASTING Delicate fine bubbles, golden colour with slight blush tint.
NOSE Underlying lemons, peach and apricot are accompanied by cooked apples, breadcrumbs, honey and almond.
PALATE Great depth and length, with crisp finesse and full-mouthfeel."
The Independent English Wine Awards 2019: GOLD
Sommelier Wine Awards 2019: SILVER
Decanter World Wine Awards 2019: SILVER
The International Wine Challenge 2019: BRONZE