In IWFS London Blog by ashepherdiwfs

Our first live tasting since lockdowns was held in the garden of Christopher Davenport Jones who led it – and to whom many thanks. We were warned to wear appropriate clothing lest the weather proved inclement. In the event, the forecast rain held off, and it was a fine evening for us to compare English sparkling rosés (and one Welsh).

English wine has greatly improved over the last decade. Its quality is highly regarded following the last three excellent vintages, climate change with more sunshine enabling longer growing periods, knowledgeable producers applying their expertise in the vineyards and to wine making techniques, and English wine gaining international awards. Over 70% of English wines are sparkling.

We tasted:

Balfour Hush Heath Brut Rosé 2016


Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier.

Langham Rosé NV 2016 


Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier. Non-vintage with base vintage of 2016.

One of my favourites.

Bride Valley Rosé Bella, 2015


Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier.

Marlings Sparkling Rosé Brut


Chardonnay, Reichensteiner and Dornfelder.

Reichensteiner and Dornfelder used to be among the varieties widely used for making English wine. These grapes are created from crossings, originating in Germany. The Chardonnay vines have been planted here more recently.

Wyfold Vineyard 50th Anniversary Rosé Brut 2015


Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir.

Painshill Vineyard Sparkling Rosé  


Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.

Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé


Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier. Another favourite of mine.

Gwinllan Conwy Sparkling Rosé 2018

The winery is in North Wales, and the grapes are from vineyards in Anglesey.

Regent is a red grape crossing from the late 1960s. It is the fourth most planted grape variety in the UK.

All these sparkling wines were pale coloured (pink or salmon), well made, with balanced acidity, light, and easy to drink and enjoy. But they all tasted different with their own characteristics, so it was a wonderful opportunity to compare them directly with each other, to reach individual conclusions as to our preferences.

Rachel Burnett