A top-flight English sparkler

NV Cottonworth, Brut Rosé, Hampshire, England

NV Cottonworth, Brut Rosé, Hampshire, England £28-£35, cottonworth.co.uk; stonevine.co.ukrudewines.co.uk; novelwines.co.uk; thesolentcellar.co.uk

I am always on the lookout for top-flight English sparkling wines and, as the years pass, the number of estates making world-class fizz continues to grow at an alarming rate. I happened to taste this wine twice in a week at two different events and it elicited exactly the same notes, scores and shorthand squiggle – an M and a W in a circle. This is the exciting “MoneyWeek-worthy” symbol denoting a wine of sufficient class to grace this page. So, I am delighted to introduce you to Cottonworth Rosé, a 48% pinot meunier, 47% pinot noir and 5% pinot précoce, so you can see that this is a genuine Blanc de Noirs.

What I like so much about this relative newcomer is that the wines from the brand are perfectly ready to drink from the off. The balance and harmony in this rosé is spot on. The silkiness of fruit and crispness of acidity is pinpoint perfect. So often, young sparklers parade too much raw acidity on the finish and this makes them (literally) hard to swallow. Cottonworth has managed to perfect the art of making wines that flow, uninterrupted, across the palate. The colour and perfume on this rosé is ravishing and it is not too dear either. I am a fan and I would love you to trial this bottle against your favourite, line-priced rosé Champagne and see what you think. My money is on the Cottonworth.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)