|Excited and humbled|
We entered the Decanter Retailer Awards 2020 with the emphasis very much on hope rather than expectation, wondering if putting ourselves forward just a year from opening was a bit premature. Decanter is the world’s premier consumer wine magazine and online content provider, trusted and respected by over half a million wine lovers every month, so we decided to give it a shot.
We were absolutely delighted to find out yesterday that we have been shortlisted for both English & Welsh Specialist Retailer and Green Champion.
We’re also humbled to be listed alongside some of the giants and stalwarts of the wine world, such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencers. While we’ve always promoted the fact that we are the specialists to turn to for English and Welsh wines, we probably haven’t promoted our green ethos as strongly. Here’s the video we submitted as part of our entry for the Green Champions category, if you want to find out more (it’s less than a minute long).
Keep your fingers crossed for us – Decanter announce the winners on Monday 7 September.
Onto the wine. We’re offering bin end discounts to help us clear the shelves and storeroom of the last bottles of a few wines in anticipation of a raft of new wines coming in this autumn (keep your eyes peeled for the next couple of newsletters for further details!). There’s several English Sparkling Wines, from Exton Park, Bolney, Hambledon and others, and a couple of stills from Winbirri and Court Garden.
We’ve got some delightful new wines in this month – a premium Muller-Thurgau (oh yes!) from Chilford Hall, an off-dry but razor sharp Bacchus from Sharpham, one of England’s best sparkling rosés (as judged by JancisRobinson.com) from Saffron Grange, and a sensational and exclusive Blanc de Blancs from Balfour Hush Heath. FInd out more about these wines below!
We hope that you enjoy the last few days of August, and indeed that you get to experience an Indian Summer as we move into September – with a glass of English or Welsh wine in hand!Best wishes
Co-Founder, Grape Britannia
|We’re offering 10%-20% off the last few bottles of certain wines, including sparkling wines from Bolney, Denbies, Exton Park, Giffords Hall and Denbies, clearing some space on the shelves for exciting new wines that will be coming into the shop over the next few weeks. There’s only a few off each left and when they’re gone, they’re gone. No discount code needed, the price is reduced on the website.|
|Chilford Hall Borley Wood 2019 (£13.95) |
We have a real soft spot for our local-est vineyard, Chilford Hall. Not just because they are so local, but because they are making superb wines from the Germanic hybrids that a lot of the English wine industry has turned its back on. This is the first wine in Chilford Hall’s premium edition blue label wines. Made only in exceptional years, this wine is produced exclusively from the best Müller-Thurgau grapes grown in the estate’s vineyard. 25% of the blend was aged in oak barrels, rounding out the wine beautifully. Floral notes dominate on the nose, with hints of green fruit and citrus, but on the palate it is luscious ripe lime, pink grapfruit and pear that play out delightfully.
With more than a quarter of a century of expertise, Chilford Hall Vineyard is now a prime visitor attraction, producing more than 18,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine each year. Buy here »
Balfour Hush Heath Victoria Ash Blanc de Blancs 2012/13 (£79.99)
My tasting notes probably too often focus on the fruit salad approach – all the years of the WSET Systematic Tasting grids have conditioned me! – but sometimes there are wines that nudge, or in this case shove, me into a different focus. The defining characteristic for me of the Balfour Hush Heath Victoria Ash Blanc de Blancs 2012/13 is its energy, the spring-loaded tension and sheer zing on the palate. It’s a wine to perk you up, put a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
Yes, it has wonderful baked apple, lemon zest, brioche and brazil nut flavours and aromas, but it’s the intensity and power delivered without weight that make this wine truly special. It’s had a lengthy 5 years of lees ageing resulting in a richness that perfectly balances the Zero Dosage freshness
It’s not cheap, at £79.99 a bottle, but it’s good value. Buy here »
|Saffron Grange Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 (£29.99)|
We love Saffron Grange’s people and philosophy, but most of all their wines! So it’s nice when the revered tasting team at JancisRobinson.com agree. Tasted by Tamlyn Currin, who said: “Absolutely delightful. It’s so seldom that I just fall head over heels for a sparkling wine on the sole basis that it is simply delicious. No genuflecting to Krug or Billecart, no wannabe-Cristal winemaking attempts. Just a trugful of fresh-picked raspberries, the chalk and sherbet of alpine strawberries, a gauzy, lacy network of perfectly formed bubbles. As thirst-quenching as red-apple sorbet. And absolutely brilliant with food. One of the most food-friendly English sparkling wines I’ve ever had. I could drink this all summer… Very Good Value 17/20. This was the joint highest score of any sparkling rosé in their Summer Rosé article (alongside Simpsons Canterbury Rosé 2017), thumping all the pink Champagnes. Buy here »
Sharpham Stop Ferment Bacchus 2019 (£16.99)
Love Bacchus but wanting to try something a little bit different to the normal? Here’s Tamlyn from JancisRobinson.com again: “Gentle gooseberry-fool aromatics. Tingling (extra CO2 to keep the wine clean?) and with such high acidity that it would take a sensitive or experience palate to pick up that this wine isn’t dry. Has more than a ring of Mosel Kabinett Riesling about it. Zesty, lime-and-grapefruit peel, elderflowers and spring hedgerow greens – this explodes with flavour, cartwheels across daisied lawns, has grass-stained knees and a wicked belly laugh that is impossible to resist. Not the most sophisticated Bacchus varietals I’ve ever tasted, but surely the most joyful, generous, pleasure-giving of them all! All you need with this is a great big tub of cold and creamy smoked-fish dip, a platter of seedy crisp bread, and your toes in hot beach sand. Oh, and the smell of salty sea air in your nose. Another glass, please.” We couldn’t agree more. Buy here »