Spring has sprung
While our normal, everyday lives have been turned head over heels, the seasons progress in regular, reassuring, order. In vineyards across England and Wales, budburst has started for many varieties. The picture above is of a Chardonnay vine at Woodchester Valley vineyard in Gloucestershire just over a week ago. It is an exciting but nerve-wracking time of year for viticulturalists in the UK, as the danger of frost, which can devastate the crop quantity for the year, is very real – as temperatures dipped early last week, several vineyard workers were out in the small hours of the night lighting “bougies”, paraffin candles which are placed throughout the vineyard and can raise the temperature around the vines by a crucial few degrees.
While the 2020 vintage has many twists and turns to come, and most 2019 wines are yet to come to market, we have a huge range of still wines from the wonderful 2018 vintage in stock. The red wines from 2018 are particularly exceptional, but the vineyard’s stocks of several are already starting to run low, so we would encourage you to explore these while you can. We consistently reiterate to our suppliers that there is a huge level of demand for quality English red wines, and hope that in future years we will be able to both broaden and deepen our selection.
This month we are highlighting our subscription cases, and are pleased to be able to offer a 33% saving on your first case – find out more below. We also feature wines from four corners of UK winemaking.
Stay well and do continue to enjoy the small pleasures that make lockdown life more bearable, such as a glass of exceptional English wine!
Co-Founder, Grape Britannia
33% off subscription cases – from £80
We love curating our subsciption cases, which provide you with a chance to explore the best of English and Welsh wines. Each contains 6 bottles carefully selected by us from our range of over 180 wines. You have two options:
Select: every 3 months, introductory price £80, then £120 or
Premium: every 6 months, introductory price £100, then £150
The introductory Select case is shown here. It includes one of England’s finest fizzes, Gusbourne Estate’s Brut Reserve 2015, a limited edition red from Stanlake Park that will make you reconsider what English red wines can achieve, and a Chablis-esque Chardonnay from Simpsons Wine Estate. With a benchmark Bacchus, a smooth and silky red from Norfolk and a fruity but crisp and refreshing rosé completing the case, we love these wines and are delighted to offer a 33% discount to make it an even easier decision for you to join us.
Click on this link to see the contents of the introductory Premium case.
As you would expect, you can cancel your subscription at any time. Each case comes with tasting notes on the wines, including suggested food pairings.
Select case – Subscribe here – £80 first case >>
Premium case – Subscribe here – £100 first case >>
Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2018 (£35)
We are delighted to have got our hands on an allocation of Gusbourne’s Boot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir – from one of England’s top vineyards, in the best ever vintage for reds, this is a benchmark cool climate Pinot.
Carefully selected parcels of grapes from their Boot Hill vineyard in Kent were hand picked, gently destemmed and slowly fermented in stainless steel tanks. Soft, yet rich and clean, this wine shows all the classic Pinot Noir aromas of ripe strawberry, morello cherry and earthy spiciness. Further ageing in oak barriques for 8 months add spice, pepper and dark chocolate to the attractive underlying flavours of cherry, redcurrant and subtle violet.
Buy here »
White Castle Gwin Gwyn 2018 (£16.99)
WineGB are running a series of regionally focused online evenings, every Friday at 7pm. The first in the series, on 24 April, covers Welsh wines.
We stock several wines from White Castle Vineyard, situated near the market towns of Abergavenny and Monmouth, owned and run by Robb and Nicola Merchant. Having purchased a 12 acre smallholding in 1995, it was 2008 before the dream of owning a vineyard become a reality, the 5 acre gently sloping, south facing field was purchased, soil tests were performed and vines ordered. Their Gwin Gwyn (white wine in Welsh) has aromas of eldeflower, honeysuckle and bitter lemon, with ripe grapefruit and lemon on the palate.
Buy here »
Winbirri Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 (£15.99)
A recent wine of the month at Great British Wine, who commented that this Norfolk rosé has “concentrated red berry flavours [that] pull no punches”.
On the back of a perfect vintage in 2018, Winbirri celebrated the release of a Pinot Noir rosé, a first for them, made possible by the stunning quality of the grapes that year. It has complex aromas of cherries, strawberries and cream, demonstrating a balanced palate of red fruits and rose petals.
It is perfect for sipping as an aperitif or paired with fresh sea food.
Buy here »
Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2016 (£22.50)
We are big fans of this complex Chardonnay vinified by Lyme Bay in Devon, but made from grapes grown in Maldon in Essex.
On the nose this gorgeous Chardonnay has subtle buttery flavours and aromas of pink grapefruit, vanilla and dried fig. On the palate, there are stone fruit flavours with a touch of orange, nuts and toffee; length and elegance in abundance.
The 2016 vintage was defined by an incredibly warm and dry autumn, which allowed the grapes to be hand-picked at optimum ripeness on the 18th October.
Buy here »
We are continuing to offer free delivery within the City of Cambridge via our eco-friendly box bike. The locals have got used to the sight of one of our team speeding around, bottles clinking (gently!) as we navigate the potholes, the past few weeks, and it has definitely kept us fit!