Celebrating English Wine WeekOur wine correspondent Nathan Lane has been tasting some English wines to celebrate English Wine Week which starts today.
English Wine Week runs from 18 June to celebrate all that is great about our vineyards and growing industry. To get involved, a trip to the local Majestic and a chat with the helpful and knowledgeable staff helped to unearth some gems.
The Majestic Definition range is always worth exploring. It offers carefully selected wines that often provide excellent value. In this instance, the Definition Bacchus proves a real hit and a perfect wine for summer.
The Bacchus grape is popular in English vineyards, where it is the fourth most planted variety. The marginal climate gives the wine Sauvignon-Blanc scents and flavours. As a result, English Bacchus wines tend to fall halfway between the traditional French and New Zealand varieties of Sauvignon Blanc.
The Definition Bacchus is a new wine the retailer is carrying in time for English Wine Week. In the glass, it is a light apple colour with plenty of citrus fruit on the nose. The dry white provides a pleasant mineral and tart finish that would pair well with seafood.
The Bacchus proved a real hit with everyone who tried it, and it would make a fantastic addition to any summer event.
Definition Bacchus is available at Majestic from £10.99
Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus
Chapel Down is a well-known English winery. It produces award-winning sparkling and still wines from its winery in Kent.
The winery is open to the public for guided tours and experiences if you are in the area. In 2015 it was bought by Tattinger, the world-famous Champagne house, with the intention of making English sparkling wine.
The grapes are farmed in the South East of England and have a terroir comparable to Champagne's. The vines are planted on chalk soils facing south and benefit from the warm, maritime climate.
The sparkling Bacchus offers an enjoyable and easy drinking alternative to champagne with lots of fruit and elderflower. It is gently carbonated, which makes it all too easy to enjoy!
This is a great alternative for people who can find champagne too dry sometimes. It would match well with shellfish or can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif.
Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus is available at Majestic from £17.99
Lyme Bay Chardonnay.
In a departure from the ubiquitous Bacchus grape, Lyme Bay Chardonnay offers a creamy, toasty tipple that is ideal for a summer picnic.
The Devon winery produces everything from sparkling wines to fruit wine and rum. It has collaborated with some of the top English winemakers since 2015 and is one of the few wineries in the country that works with producers from all around the country. The fermentation, blending, and ageing of each of the Lyme Bay wines is overseen at the winery.
Lyme Bay winery uses a variety of grape varietals to create full-bodied still and sparkling English wines. In this instance, the chardonnay looks like green apple juice in the glass and offers pear and banana on the nose.
You are rewarded with bags of citrus and peach with a finish of butter and toasted marshmallows. There is enough here to please fans of French chardonnay and entice people trying English wines for the first time.
Lyme Bay Chardonnay is available at Majestic from £16.99