Archive for November, 2011

A Big Welcome to Hush Heath Estate!

Nov. 30th 2011

Hush Heath Manor (est. 1503)

We held our second blind tasting panel this month and were pleased to welcome two well experienced Masters of Wine to the panel. We tasted a range of twelve sparkling wines from all around England, and were pleased to pass five wines through to the site. This is the first… Hush Heath Estate’s Balfour Brut Rosé 2008.


We are pleased to welcome Hush Heath to the site, having met Richard Balfour-Lynn at the Riedel tasting he hosted just a few months ago. Owen Elias, the winemaker of the Balfour Brut Rosé, has also contributed to this Sparkling English Wine blog in the past.


Hush Heath Estate is set in the depths of the beautiful Kentish countryside, not too far from Maidstone. The meticulous vineyards are spread around the site and one at Sandhurst, reaching a total of just under 30 acres, making it a fairly large vineyard in England. With a consistent split of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot noir, and 10% Pinot meunier planted across the vineyards, this denomination of vines represents the blend of grapes in the finished product of Balfour Brut Rosé.


The Balfour Brut Rosé, created by the tender hands of Owen Elias, four time UK winemaker of the year, and Hush Heath’s assistant winemaker Vicky Ash, who cut her teeth in NZ after completing a Viticulture & Oenology degree at Plumpton College, is a fantastic example of what we do best here in England.


The fine light pink colour is accentuated by the persistent stream of delicate bubbles. The nose has a fresh fruitiness and blackcurrant leaf with a touch of autolysis, opening up into a deliciously creamy mousse and fruity palate. The balance, length and finish are superb, and make this wine a serious contender for one of the top wines in the country.


Whether you buy the Balfour Brut Rosé by the single bottle, mixed with other wines of your choice, or included in our two festive mixed cases, the Fanciful Festive Assortment six pack, and the Triple Tipple, be sure you get to sample this fantastic wine…



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Organic Sparkling Wines on Sparkling English Wine

Nov. 4th 2011

Following our last tasting, we are pleased to announce the arrival of our second organic sparkling wine on the site. Will Davenport’s Limney Estate Blanc de Blancs 2006 was a great hit with the tasting panel, and Mr Davenport recently hand-delivered our first instalment of Limney Estate stock to Sparkling English Wine HQ…


With nearly 20 acres of vineyard dotted around East Sussex, Davenport Vineyards is among the country’s largest organic grape growers (Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, whose Cuvée Rosé Brut 2008 we also stock, are not too far away). Employing organic techniques in both the vineyard and the winery, Will works with very few unnatural substances, helping to create wines that have complexity and pureness.


Will Davenport with some freshly picked grapes during harvest

Supplementing his excellent range of still wines, Will Davenport produces a fantastic bottle of fizz created from 100% Reichensteiner grapes. Among a large range of wines on the Sparkling English Wine site, we are pleased to be selling wines made from varieties other than the classic three Champagne varieties. The Limney Estate Blanc de Blancs 2006 (pictured below) is a fantastic example of a truly English sparkling wine, as Reichensteiner (a German variety) grows very well here in England owing to its quick ripening time.



Have a read of Colin Smith, aka Grape Fan’s account of harvest 2011 at Davenport Vineyard, with some great pictures of the vineyard and winery.


Posted by Tom Jones | in Producer News, Site News | 1 Comment »