Two rare but brilliant English sparkling wines from Fox & Fox

These two new releases are worthy of extremely high praise.

2015 Fox & Fox, Mayfield, Essence Pure Chardonnay Brut  

£39.99, foxandfox.wine

I met Gerard Fox five or six years ago at a tasting. He mentioned that he and his wife Jonica had got into the wine game, back in 2004, by planting some vines, and that they were pretty happy with their early releases. I tasted their 2011 Mayfield, Essence Blanc de Blancs, back in 2016 and also their 2013 Mayfield Tradition Blanc de Noirs, in 2018, and wrote up both in my column for the Daily Mail. 

Each Fox & Fox release is tiny, a thousand bottles here and a thousand bottles there. Since the early days, the vines are finding their feet and two new releases are worthy of extremely high praise.

The 2015 Essence is sublime and it grows on the palate into a lovely crisp apple and lemon balm cocktail. It is a perfect paean to the great chardonnay grape. A slimline creature, with only 12% alcohol, it wears a generous 11.5g/L dosage, so this is a slender, but curvaceous wine. With superb class throughout, the nose starts quietly and it expands and relaxes into a delicious and thoroughly moreish creation. 

In addition, 2014 Fox & Fox, Mayfield, CV Chairman’s Vat Brut (£40, foxandfox.wine; £39.99, thebritishwinecellar.co.uk) is a tighter, more energetic and less louche number with only 8.5g/L dosage, and it is a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris. Dry, layered and intellectually stimulating, it is a brilliant wine with chalky, sour acidity on the finish and lush fruit throughout.

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

Recommended

Cryptocurrency roundup: authorities tighten the screw
Bitcoin & crypto

Cryptocurrency roundup: authorities tighten the screw

Saloni Sardana looks at the cryptocurrency stories that caught our eye this week.
21 Jan 2022
Stockmarket crash: is the “superbubble” heading for a “superbust”?
Stockmarkets

Stockmarket crash: is the “superbubble” heading for a “superbust”?

America's Nasdaq stock index is down by more than 10% after soaring to all-time highs in a "superbubble". Are we about to see a "superbust" stockmarke…
21 Jan 2022
Inflation: now we really have something to worry about
Inflation

Inflation: now we really have something to worry about

We’ve been worrying about a sharp rise in inflation for years, says Merryn Somerset Webb – now, we finally have something to worry about.
21 Jan 2022
Share tips of the week – 21 January
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 21 January

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
21 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is
Inflation

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is

As inflation bites and the labour market remains tight, many of the nation's employees are asking for a pay rise. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why yo…
17 Jan 2022
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Interest rates might rise faster than expected – what does that mean for your money?
Global Economy

Interest rates might rise faster than expected – what does that mean for your money?

The idea that the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates much earlier than anticipated has upset the markets. John Stepek explains why, and wha…
6 Jan 2022