Posts Tagged ‘Ridgview’

Breaky Bottom tops my personal chart over the past few weeks

So I’m back at the frontline of hyperlocal drinking after the May elections, chicken-poxy children and a bout of holiday had almost seen me off.

I’ve been remiss. 

English Wine Week has passed by this year without a mention.  And I have killed off the Wine Guru in the Hastings & St Leonards Resident.  But hopefully this will give time for spontaneous musings here, and a bit of space to seek out more interesting and indigenous local libations.

Over the past weeks I can recall three family occasions for bubbles which I should have recorded in much more detail for posterity…

There was a wonderful biscuity offering from Breaky Bottom.  A muscular Kentish lad of a wine from Gusborne, and Ridgview’s 2009 Bloomsbury, which was extremely nice with chocolate cake.

But it was the Breaky Bottom that won my heart.  I can’t wait to get to the Glynde Food & English Wine Festival on Sunday to try some more…


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Julia Trustram Eve is i/c EWP!

Thought I should record a few reflections about the tasting that I went to with my friend James at WSET’s headquarters on Bermondsey Street, near London Bridge, on Thursday.

A pleasant surprise was that we were tutored by Julia Trustram Eve who is the head honcho of English Wine Producers – the marketing arm of the English Wine industry – http://www.englishwineproducers.com/

Julia was formidably knowledgeable and gave a whistlestop tour of the history of the industry, with us tasting eight wines along the way.  But more than the history, she was keen to talk about the future of the industry which, as most people will agree, has changed out of all recognition over the last decade or two and looks decidedly rosé.  (I can’t claim that gag as I my own, but was one of the better ones from the nice man from Yorkshire sat opposite me who enjoyed his one-twos with the tutor probably more than anyone else.  You can judge for yourself what the other gags were like).

I can’t be bothered to relive the tasting moments but I diligently Tweeted them as they exploded onto my tastebuds.  Perhaps you’d be so good as to go and look over the other side of the blog?!

Only one Sussex wine on the list though.  Boooooo Julia.

But credit where it’s due, probably the wine of the night was the Camel Valley Darnibole Bacchus 2010.  It was utterly goosebericious.  And as we commented on our table, quite different from a Bacchus you’d taste at Chapel Down.  Camel Valley’s rendition was much weightier and had a smokier complexity.  Yum.

Most interesting industry fact I gleaned was that last year EWP decided against any sort of regional or quality descriptor for English sparkling wines.  No truck was had with Ridgview’s order of Merret, or Coates & Seeley’s Britagne or Mark Driver (at Rathfinny)’s ‘Downland’ soubriquet

The word from JTE was that she didn’t think that the industry was ‘quite at that point’.  The subtext, I would hazard a guess, is that the big English sparkling brand names are quite happy promoting themselves thank you very much and don’t see the need to follow the Champenois or the Bordelais and market a regional brand.  They want to stake out a share of the premium market for their own label. 

How butch.

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Had wanted to go for a trip to Ridgview this week but glad that I checked the website first – they are closed over harvest time.  I sent an email to try to arrange an interview, but they are obviously busy among the vines!

Here is a note from Mike Roberts giving a few thoughts about the 2011 vintage…

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