Cottonworth Classic Cuvée NV, 2014 Base

The Classic Cuvée NV is a perennial favourite, displaying the quality of the vineyards here. It seems to achieve a fuller, more distinguished Chardonnay expression than many of its local peers, with freshness of truly ripe, rich lemon, sweet red apple and a lovely red fruit element sitting in front of baked pear, icing sugar and almond. A touch of chalky grip, too. There is a dimensionality of flavour here that sets it apart amongst the Classic Cuvées in the room.

17.5

Date Tasted : 07/02/2020

/ 2014 Base, Classic Blend, Cottonworth, England, NV

Digby Fine English NV Brut NV, 2014 Base

The NV Brut (2014 Base, 40% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier) is a zippy, attractive assembly of wild apple, herbs and autumn red fruit character underpinned by subtle creaminess. A style of gentle richness seems on the cards, but there’s a streak of brightness and tension – the acidity is actually quite serious but age and dosage (12 g/l) play the balancing game effectively.

16

Date Tasted : 13/09/2019

Wiston Estate Brut NV, 2014 Base

A third each of the classic varieties, 80% based on the 2014 vintage with 20% reserve wines from 2009 and 2013. This spends nine months in tank before bottling, and has developed lovely ripples of creamy lemon, apricot and grapefruit with clean, flinty freshness, fresh white butter and subtle bakery aromas. It is such a contrast to the vintage wine! Beautifully done, and not at all rushed. Good value too.

16.5

Date Tasted : 23/11/2019

Wiston Estate Rosé NV, 2014 Base

Rosé NV 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier is the counterpart (with the same vintage base) to the NV tasted above. Sappy, ripe red cherries and grapefruit with delicious poached strawberries and redcurrants, it is made in a refined, clean style with some ground almond richness.

16.5

Date Tasted : 23/11/2019

/ 2014 Base, England, NV, Rosé, Wiston Estate

Harrow and Hope Brut NV, 2014 Base

40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier. is a delicious wine. A golden, toasted profile with ripe apricot, crystallised yellow and buttered toast joined by some delicious salted caramel development and apricot kernel. Creamy nougat sits at the back adding to the indulgent style here, which is ripe and quite long with candied grapefruit Chardonnay on the finish.

17

Date Tasted : 17/11/2019

Hattingley Valley Classic Reserve NV, 2014 Base

Classic Reserve NV* (50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 19% Pinot Meunier and 1% Pinot Gris) is the mainstay at Hattingley. This is one of the last disgorgements of the 2014 base from August 2019; despite reserve levels at 18% it would be reasonable to expect some variation in style as the 2015 base comes in. Ripe orchard fruit (apples and fresh quince), with some apricot, white flowers and brown bread/frangipane sweetness showing some delicious development. A squeeze of fresh citrus cuts through the richer flavours as the wine progresses; really nicely-balanced between brightness and breadth.

16

Date Tasted : 07/11/2019

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée MV , 2014 Base

Classic Cuvée (2014 base) is composed of between 50-60% Chardonnay, 30-40% Pinot Noir and 10-20% Pinot Meunier, with reserve wines forming 25-30% of the blend. There is a crystalline clarity to this wine – a quiet purity that is perhaps easy to overlook. Subtle lemon tart, sweet raspberries and honeysuckle with gentle white peach notes and subtle yellow citrus on the close. A true assemblage, where nothing dominates. This sets the tone for the whole range in not being led by acid; it just plays delightfully with delicate, sweet autolytic notes and deep-running freshness. The 2014-based iteration is such a settled, unflappable wine.

17

Date Tasted : 04/09/2019

/ 2014 Base, Classic Blend, England, Nyetimber

Coates and Seely Brut Reserve NV, 2014 Base

(Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier, 2014 base) is beautifully-composed on the nose, weaving together some developed notes of lightly caramelised apples with honeysuckle and all-butter biscuits. I’m not sure of the disgorgement date, but this lovely Pinot-led expression is not rushed or closed-down. The dosage is just 4 g/l, and this does bestow a certain strictness to the palate amongst the textural finesse.

15.5

Date Tasted : 17/09/2019

Ashling Park Rosé NV, 2014 Base

Based on two showing this has some severe problems. Bruised, acetic, tired. Just like the Wiston Rosé 2014 and many of the Jenkyn Place wines that I tasted at the start of 2019. Some disgorgement issues at Wiston I think.

14

Date Tasted : 01/09/2019

/ 2014 Base, Ashling Park, England, NV, Rosé

Vazart-Coquart Extra Brut NV, 2014 Base

Chouilly Chardonnay. Good, but a little curious. Russet apples and toasted hazelnuts, slightly autumnal and developed in tone. White flowers bring some freshness, but this is mellower than I was expecting, with a slightly poached quality to the fruit.

16

Date Tasted : 31/12/2019