Welcome to English’s wine list and firstly my apologies for its rather late introduction. This time round between February and April we been to five big tastings mostly in London had another five private tastings and had numerous ones at English’s. A few hundred wines have been whittled down to around 100!
This list is the largest change we made to our list since 2015 and, at the time of writing, we now have almost 110 wines including 24 sparkling wines, 16 wines available by the glass (and most of the still wines are available by the carafe as well), 45 white wines, 8 rosés, 15 reds (with more on our new Bin ends and small parcels page) and 6 dessert wines – 19 are organic or Biodynamic. There are around 35 new wines and we are now listing some of our more expensive wines, bought in small quantities, separately together with our bin ends on our “Bin ends & small parcels of wine” page at the beginning of the list.
As Brighton is on the Southern edge of England’s largest wine growing area we thought it was about time that we introduced rather more English wines than we have in the past. So, we are now listing no fewer than 11 English wines mostly from Sussex and Hampshire. We been to visit Bluebell and Bolney as well as met with representatives and winemakers from Wiston House and Nyetimber.
English wines have now come to the stage when they can compete head to head in quality with Champagne and other sparkling wines. Not only that but, whilst in the past, they may have had the reputation of being somewhat expensive they now represent fantastic value for money. Many Champagnes have become rather expensive these days with the value of the pound being a little “depressed” (and for other reasons) so English sparkling wine has come into its own – great quality and great value – turn to pages 3 & 4 of the main list to find out more.
Having said that we must mention Laurent-Perrier and Champagne Dosnon who buck the trend for expensive Champagne. We are proud to have a great relationship with family-owned Laurent-Perrier and of course their “La Cuvee” NV is our house Champagne and represents terrific value – see page 5. Champagne Dosnon is a small grower/producer who makes just 50,000 bottles a year of organically grown and produced Champagne – again great value.
So to other newcomers. Try one of our new French regional wines for a change – Cote du Roussillon Blanc by Domaine Lafage, Pinot d’Alsace from Mathieu Deiss or a white Rhone Marsanne made by Pierre Gaillard. Dry white Graves Bordeaux is here after a long time – Chateau de Landiras. See pages 7 to 8. Of perhaps better-known wines let us introduce our new Chablis from the respected house of Domaine Billaud-Simon or perhaps the Biodynamic Sancerre Les Chailloux. See page 8. Lots of new Italian whites on pages 9 and 10: organic Pecorino from Abruzzo, Gavi di Gavi by Picollo (Piemonte), Biodynamic Sardinian “Renosu” or perhaps Sicilian Tornatore Etna from the Northern slopes of Mount Etna. Oh and a gorgeous Gruner Veltliner from Weingut Gardlider in Alto Adige. Outside Europe there’s a new Torrontes by Bodega Colomé, not only Argentina’s oldest working vineyard but also the world’s highest! A beautiful Riesling from the Hartenberg Wine Estate in South Africa – where wine has been made since 1692!
To join our previous six rosés we have two firsts for English’s. Pinot Noir Rosé from Bodega Garzón in Uruguay – try it elegant and refreshing. China makes an entrance. Chateau Changyu Moser XV White Cabernet has very slight rose tint – so I put it with the rosés but maybe it should have been white? It’s made by a famous Austrian wine maker and is worth a try if you like something floral and fruity – see page 15 for both.
Notable new reds (on pages 16 and 17) are an organic Morgon from Jean-Paul Thevenet, an organic Côtes Auxerre Pinot Noir from Domaine Bersan – they’ve been making wine since 1453 – they seem to have got hang of it now! Primitivo from Puglia and a beautiful Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso – between young Valpolicella and Amorone.
Meanwhile, don’t forget our six tasty dessert wines – two by the glass – and our bin ends and small parcels page – small quantities which change frequently. Enjoy our wines!