Four simply stunning English wines

The luxuriousness on the nose and palate point the way to a stunning future for English wine.

2018 Danbury Ridge
(Image credit: )

2018 Danbury Ridge, Chardonnay, Essex, England

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I have been waiting a while to taste the amazingly talented Liam Idzikowski’s new creations since he left Lyme Bay to work with Michael and Heather Bunker and their exceptionally well-situated, young vineyard in Danbury in Essex. Its wines are everything I hoped they would be and more, and you ought to do everything you can to find a bottle or two. Only 10,132 bottles were produced of my featured wine and the other three in this piece (MoneyWeek has many more readers than the bottles made at Danbury Ridge).

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The reason for my excitement about these wines is their sheer impact and luxuriousness on the nose and palate. These are wines that do not, in any way, shape or form, seem like they come from a cool climate. My featured chardonnay is terrifically smooth, mildly exotic, juicily oaky, incredibly long, amazingly ripe and fabulously ostentatious. Its big brother, 2018 Chardonnay Octagon Block (£52), is even more structured and concentrated and, even though the oak is ridiculously expressive, it is a sensationally balanced wine. The 2018 Pinot Noir (£34) is equally posh and plush, with Volnay-like appeal and its texture is unlike any English pinot noir to date. The 2018 Pinot Noir Octagon Block (£55) adds even more spice, drama, head-turning fruit density and prodigious length. These are true signposts – pointing the way for us all to a stunning future for English wine.

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

Matthew Jukes

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,

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.