2014 Bride Valley, Blanc de Blancs, Dorset £38, ten branches of Waitrose and onwaitrosecellar.com
There are a good few retailers out there for this wine, so please do have a browse of the Bride Valley website if you would like to support your local indie.For convenience, I have listed Waitrose, which sells more English wine than all of the other high-street titans, and it was there that I first tasted this wine while standing next to its maker, the legendary wine writer Steven Spurrier.
This wine is an instant classic a smooth, enticing, beautifully balanced number. It is drinking perfectly already and is underpinned with pristine acidity. It was this facet of the wine that Steven and I chatted about while we were tasting it. He lowered his voice conspiratorially and told me a little secret that I am happy toshare with you(I am sure he won't mind). He was travelling in Champagne and was in the Cte des Blancs, home to the great chardonnay vineyards of the region, tasting with some locals. He generously uncorked his own wine and one of the old timers sidled over to him and said, "You've got what we've lost".
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He was referring to the vital acidity in the Dorset-grown wine. It seems that Champagne is warming up, along with all of the other wine regions of the world, and it looks like England will be even more of a safe bet for world-class sparklers than we might first have thought. If you would like to know more about Steven and his fascinating journey through wine, then I recommend his book, Wine A Way of Life.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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