England is producing some brilliant still wines – savour the full flavours
This English Wine Case Offer (with Tasting Notes) is a great introduction to the excellent quality and variety of wines being produced in England today. England’s cool climate presents challenges for grape growing but the combination of our relatively cool weather provides a long growing and ripening season, and the development of great depth of flavours, subtlety and lower abv. Two of the white wines are from a boutique winery in West Sussex, the two Rosés come from a small producer in Wiltshire, and the final two are deservedly popular wines from England’s largest wine producer – the highly respected – Chapel Down.
Celebrate English Wine Week and beyond with this terrific value English Wine Case Offer – and check out our great prices for English Sparkling Wines
Albourne Estate has just under 11 hectares (30 acres) in gently rolling hills, near Hassocks in West Sussex, with stunning views to the Devils Dyke. The vineyards were planted in 2010 when Alison Nightingale (co-owner) finally found the site she had been looking for which ticked all the boxes to provide excellent drainage, low frost risk and maximum sun exposure, critical factors in achieving successful vine growth and grape ripeness at this northerly latitude. 2013 was their first vintage; they have produced consistently high quality, interesting wines year on year. As well as these four still wines they produce some excellent Sparkling Wines and a Vermouth!
The striking labels feature wildlife that are regularly seen in the Albourne Estate and are painted by a local artist. We live in West Sussex, so it is fitting that this English Wine Case Offer contains four wines that include grapes from our county!
Albourne Estate Selection 2019 [1 bottle] Silver Medal: Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
The 2019 vintage is led by Chardonnay, with Ortega and a small amount of Bacchus. This wine is elegantly textured, restrained yet smooth and fresh at the same time. There are a range of layered aromas ranging from jasmine, apricot to melon. It has fresh peach, apricot and nutty flavours with a lovely smoothness, fresh citrus finish and excellent length. A proportion of the Chardonnay was reserve wine from the 2018 vintage matured in large French oak barrels for 12 months which has contributed to its smoothness, body and complexity.
Albourne Estate Sandstone Ridge 2018 [1 bottle] Silver Medal: Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
A dry, aromatic, lightly rounded white wine with honeyed tones. Its aromas offer an exotic array from honeysuckle, to peach to fresh coconut and vanilla. The full flavours are layered and complex, with peach and tropical fruit flavours predominating and a hint of refreshing citrus on the finish. It is made from Chardonnay and Ortega with a little Pinot Blanc. The Ortega grapes are whole bunch pressed and then fermented in second-fill French oak barrels to impart a hint of oak. It then rests on its lees and is stirred for several weeks to develop a richer style, and finally it is blended with the Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc.
Albourne Estate Sandstone Ridge is an appealing, full-flavoured but still beautifully fresh, English white wine with impressive texture and flavours; it is quite Burgundian in style. 16 points Jancis Robinson; Purple pages
Chapel Down Flint Dry 2020 [1 bottle]
An attractive, aromatic white with aromas of grapefruit zest and freshly cut grass. It has a crisp, refreshing palate with flavours of apple, pear and lime coupled with a smooth texture and an impressively long finish. It was great to see this wine in Jane McQuitty’s Top 20 English Wines in the Times.
Chardonnay, which is being successfully grown in England (mostly for Sparkling wines), leads the blend with a range german varietals. It is quite a kaleidoscope of varietals including Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, Siegerrebe, grown in Kent, Sussex and Essex. Each variety is whole-bunch pressed and vinified separately.
Chapel Down Bacchus 2020 [1 bottle]
The Bacchus grape is producing some amazing English wines and this is no exception. A refreshingly, aromatic, dry whtie wine characterised by melon, grapefruit and elderflower aromas. These follow through into the flavours of citrus and light tropical fruit togethr with an expressive zesty, long finish. It’s like a cross between a top Verdejo from Rueda and a high class Sauvignon Blanc. A consistently great wine from the warm summer of 2020 which produced a high quality crop of grapes. The quality of the fruit together with the expertise of the wine making team at Chapel Down can be discovered in this wine! The flavours go on and on.
a’Beckett’s Rams Cliff Rosé 2018 [2 bottles]
This wine has an attractive light salmon colour and wild strawberry aromas. There are fresh and full wild strawberry and raspberry fruit flavours and the wine is elegant and well balanced. It makes a perfect aperitif at just 11% abv. If you are looking for a light in alcohol wine, this delicate, and limited production, a’Beckett’s Rams Cliff Rosé is definitely worth discovering. A 2018 Rosé that will be drinking well throughout 2022 at least! Bronze Medal: GB Wine Awards 2019