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May update, offers and new wines

Welsh Wine Week
It’s that time of year you’ve all been waiting for – Welsh Wine Week is almost here! Stretching the definition of “week” to the limits, this celebration of the wines of Wales runs from Friday 4 June to Sunday 13 June. Get 10% off our Welsh wines by using the code WELSH10 at checkout, up to 13 June. We’re doing a wonderful tasting of White Castle Vineyard’s wines with its fabulously engaging owner, Robb Merchant – more details below.

Back over the border in England, there’s been a flurry of still wine releases from the wonderful 2020 vintage; we couldn’t stick to highlighting just four new wines this month, with so many gems joining our list – we’ve got six for you this time: two divine rosés, one dry, the other off-dry, a fresh-as-a-daisy Bacchus, the return of a cult redan incredible oaked Pinot Blanc, and a seriously good Blanc de Noirs. Find out more below!

With so many new wines added to our range in the past few weeks, we need to clear a bit of stockroom space, so we’re having a sale. Discover a bargain here. Most of the sparkling wines on sale benefit from a 20% discount.

With the next stage of the lockdown roadmap implemented, we’ve been able to reopen our indoor bar space. For those of you lucky enough to live within striking distance of our shop, our unparallelled English wines by the glass menu is available again. Also, we’ve dropped the corkage charge to drink any bottle from our fridge or shelves to £7 to encourage you to explore. We hope to see you soon!

Best wishes
Co-Founder, Grape Britannia
Simpsons Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir 2020 (£25.99) 2020 was an exceptional vintage for many English vineyards (check out the vintage report in our Blog on our website for the full story), and we are SO excited to have the new release of one of the most sought-after still English wines in stock now. Simpsons’ Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir 2020 shows sensational red fruit aromas, complemented by smokey and sweet spice notes, hints of coffee, silky tannins and a delightful freshness. For those who’ve enjoyed the previous vintages, this is closer in style to the 2018 than 2019, with perhaps even more complexity from the savoury notes. This wine is absolutely ready to drink straight away, but it will also develop further complexity over the next few years, if you can restrain yourself. Buy here »

Stopham Estate Barrel Fermented Pinot Blanc 2019 (£22.99) Stopham Estate’s wines are renowned for their balance of intense, precise fruit and uplifting freshness. Their Pinot Blanc was awarded IEWA Still Wine of the Year for 2020 (and their Pinot Gris this accolade for 2018 and 2019!). But here is something a little different from them – a wine that has seen some oak. Why mess with a winning formula and take a risk? Well, we are so glad that they did, because this phenomenal wine has taken things to a whole new level.The perfect fruit is still there – apple on the nose, melon and citrus joining it on the palate – and the cleansing acidity, but it has been complemented with additional body and aromas and flavours of cream and vanilla. Bravo! Buy here »
Roebuck Estate Blanc de Noirs 2015 (£44.99) At Grape Britannia, we’re absolute suckers for a top quality Blanc de Noirs. And this certainly is top quality. It shows a delightful bouquet of ripe stone and citrus fruits lifted by floral notes. On the palate, baked apples are layered with complex notes of toasted almonds, characteristic of generous bottle-ageing. It is a rich, yet beautifully balanced wine with delicate bubbles, a silky texture and a long, lingering finish. This wine is drinking well now but will undoubtedly continue to improve with further bottle age. Roebuck’s vineyards span the width of the beautiful county of Sussex, in the South of England. They are fortunate to have a variety of soil types giving them a multitude of stylistic elements to play with when it comes to blending their wines, and they’ve made the most of it here. Buy here »

Shotley Vineyard Bacchus 2020 (£15.99) This single estate Bacchus is the second vintage to come from the vineyard since its revitalisation at the hands of new owners, Craig Mills and Charlotte Davitt-Mills. It displays fantastic typicity: floral notes of elderflower on the nose, and crisp acidity on the palate with distinct gooseberry and lime flavours. The vines at Shotley Vineyard were planted in phases since the 1990s, with the Bacchus vines, of which there are over 3,000, planted in 1997, 1998 and 2003. Having fallen into abandonment, Craig and Charlotte took it over in 2017, and embarked on the laborious process of restoring it. The vineyard is beautifully situated overlooking both the Orwell and Stour estuaries, against the backdrop of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Buy here »
Wayfarer Wines Hedgerow Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 (£16.99) This off-dry rosé has been created to appeal to a broad range of palates. Ruby pink in colour, the nose evokes springtime English hedgerows in full bloom. Smooth and moreish, the palate bursts with wild strawberry, ripe summer berries and candied red apple. Easy drinking, yet complex and structured. The wine is made from grapes grown on the family run Wayfarer’s Vineyard, which is nestled intimately onto the Pilgrims Way in Kent. Importantly, it is created from still wine clones; this is not a sparkling reject, it was conceptualised as a still wine from the beginning, and it shows, beautifully. Buy here »

Hattingley Valley STILL Rosé 2020 (£15.99)A light and elegant wine, Hattingley Valley’s STILL Rosé has a pink salmon colour, aromas of fresh red fruits and creamy notes following through to the palate. It is dry and smooth, with delicate yet vibrant acidity. The Pinot Noir, Pinot Précoce and Pinot Meunier grapes were hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed very slowly. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at cool temperatures, before the wine was given a light filtration and bottled whilst still young and vibrant. The vines are nurtured throughout the growing year with an environmentally-sensitive approach to viticulture ensuring optimum ripeness, yield and quality of fruit. Buy here »
White Castle is one of Wales’ leading vineyards, and has had its wines frequently featured on television, for example on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. We are holding a tasting of five of their wines on Saturday 13 June, at 7.30pm. Robb Merchant, the co-owner of White Castle Vineyard, will join Grape Britannia’s Matt Hodgson to talk about the wines and their journey from establishing the vineyard to their current position as the flagbearer for Welsh wines.This is a “hybrid” event, with wine samples or full bottle sets available for those who want to join online, and a limited number of tickets to join Grape Britannia’s Matt Hodgson in the shop in Cambridge (with Robb live on large screen).