English Sparkling Wine vs Champagne

Here are the results of Noble Rot’s Second English Sparkling wine versus Champagne blind tasting, which was recently held in London.

This is the second time Noble Rot have run this exercise (this is my report of the first), and while you can debate the actual significance of the results in a blind tasting like this, but they are certainly interesting. The results once again demonstrate that when tasted blind, the top sparkling wines from the UK are in a peer group with some of the top Champagnes.

Once again, Hambledon did really well, coming in at joint second, but only a point behind the winner, the fab Terre de Vertus from Larmandier-Bernier. It’s also great to see Harrow and Hope in at fourth, which is a really nice wine, and the excellent Black Chalk in at fifth. Not far behind, Tillingham’s excellent trad method comes in at a well merited ninth equal.

Also nice to see a trio of Brits sharing 13th spot, ahead of some serious grower Champagnes. Maybe I should revisit some of these wines!

These are the results in full. [The list differs slightly from that in the latest edition of Noble Rot as I’ve used the sporting convention of using 2= for the tied second place then putting the next in the list as 4th.]

1. Larmandier-Bernier, ‘Terre de Vertus’; Champagne, France 2013 (168/200 pts)

2=. Hambledon, ‘Première Cuvée’; Hampshire,

England NV (167/200 pts) tie

2=. Pierre Péters, ‘Les Chétillons’; Champagne, France 2012 (167/200 pts) tie

4. Harrow & Hope, ‘Blanc de Noirs’; Buckinghamshire, England 2015 (166.5/200 pts)

5. Black Chalk, ‘Classic’; Hampshire, England 2014 (165/200 pts)

6. Egly-Ouriet, ‘Les Vignes de Vrigny’; Champagne, France NV (164.5/200 pts)

7. Pol Roger, ‘Réserve’; Champagne, France NV (164.5/200 pts

8. Michel Gonet, ‘Mesnil-sur-Oger’; Champagne, France 2011 (163/200 pts)

9=. Dhondt-Grellet, ‘Les Terres Fines’; Champagne, France NV (163/200 pts)

9=. Tillingham, ‘Traditional Method’; East Sussex, England 2017 (163/200 pts)

11. La Closerie ‘Les Béguines’; Champagne, France NV [2017] (162.5/200 pts)

12. Veuve Clicquot, ‘Yellow Label’; Champagne, France NV (161/200 pts)

13=. Westwell, ‘Pelegrim’; Kent, England 2017 (160.5/200 pts)

13=. Nyetimber, ‘Tillington’; West Sussex, England 2013 (160.5/200 pts)

13=. Breaky Bottom, ‘Cuvée Reynolds Stone’; East Sussex, England 2010 (160.5/200 pts)

16. Agrapart, ‘Avizoise’; Champagne, France 2010 (159/200 pts)

17. Ulysse Collin, ‘Les Maillons’; Champagne, France NV [2015 base] (158.5/200 pts)

18. Pierre Baillette, ‘Coeur de Craie de Verzenay’; Champagne, France 2014 (157.5/200 pts)

19. Bérêche & Fils, ‘Rilly-La-Montagne’; Champagne, France 2014 (157/200 pts)

20. Gusbourne, ‘Blanc de Blancs’; Kent, England 2014 (156.5/200 pts)

21=. Ridgeview, ‘Blanc de Noirs’; East Sussex, England 2014 (155/200 pts)

21=. Wiston Estate, ‘Blanc de Noirs’; East Sussex, England 2014 (155/200 pts)

23. Chapel Down, ‘Kit’s Coty’; Kent, England 2015 (150/200 pts)

24. Davenport, ‘Limney Estate’; East Sussex, England 2014 (143/200 pts)

Total scores across country France 1945.5 v England 1895.5.

[Photo credit: Ben McMahon]