For each day between 1st and 12th December I will be picking one of my favourite English wines that I’ve enjoyed over the year.
Each day a new bottle will be revealed, with helpful links allowing you to buy the wines just in time for the Christmas and New Year Celebrations.
12 Wines of Christmas
It's the festive time of year, a time when many will consume a little more wine than usual.
If you're thinking English this year, then this is the place to be!
I've selected 12 of my top English wines of the year, which will be revealed day by day.
Click on a bottle to the right to find out more.
Day 1: Chapel Down Bacchus
My Bacchus of the year! This is one of England’s closest alternatives to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Firstly there’s the rich aromatic nose; with aromas of lime, grapefruit, cut grass & nettle, with overtones of English elderflower floral.
The taste has that Sauv-like tang, a rich citrus blast, powerful acidity, then bitter grapefruit and hints of tropical fruit.
Day 2: Jenkyn Place Blanc de Noir 2010
Blanc de Noirs has really appeared on my radar this year, often combining slight weighty texture with those red fruit characteristics traditionally encountered with rosé sparkling wines.
This BdN is my favourite of the year, with citrus and nutty aromas on the nose.
Luxurious mouthfeel with lemon and red berry flavours and lingering biscuit and nut character.
Day 3: Litmus Element 20 2011
Based out of Denbies at Dorking, this is one of a trio of excellent complex English wines from Litmus.
Vibrant stone fruit and lemon on the nose with warming vanilla notes.
This is delicious and textured on the palate, with flavours of baked apple, apricot and delicious citrus and mineral finish.
Day 4: Greyfriars Blanc de Blanc 2013
I love this locally produced Blanc de Blanc, and recently enjoyed a glass with a mince pie and a chat with owner Mike.
A beautiful rich toasty nose of vanilla, yeasty bread and sweet brioche. This has such a a classic expression of sparkling Chardonnay that you just can't wait to dive in.
The palate is med with crisp acidity and tangy green apple flavours. Nice smooth creamy texture with baked apple and biscuit complexity.
Day 5: Albourne Estate Bacchus 2014
Another excellent offering made from my favourite English still white grape variety.
Green grassy notes, elderflower and lime and then flashes of tropical fruit vibrancy of passion fruit and grapefruit. Gorgeous flinty undertones almost reminiscent of a great Sancerre.
Palate delivers in spades just as the nose; big citrus blast of lime and rich acidity, it’s bone dry with all sorts of Sauv like hints of grapefruit & gooseberry. Rich mineral flavours, texture and elegance again drawing Sancerre comparisons.
Day 5: Albury Estate Classic Cuveé 2013
The nose on this is really rich and indulgent; baked apples, citrus zest with distinct red berry character and a lovely sweet toasted brioche streak.
This is a real step up in intensity compared to the previous Premier Cuvée release. Very persistent bubbles with a deliciously textured mouse, this wine has a great freshness with youthful citrus and crisp acidity. Really impressive length in the elegant aftertaste.
This is really something special, easily my favoruite wine from Albury to date.
Day 7: Debies Noble Harvest 2014
RRP: £19.99 - £24.99
The most unique of any English wine I have tried this year, the Noble Harvest is fruity, aromatic and unctuous - it would be great with dessert on Christmas day!
The nose is unusual and unlike any other English wine I’ve had. A honeyed fruit mix of apricot, peach and tropics with unusual orange oil and dried flower notes.
Palate is stunningly unctuous with ripe sweet flavours of mango and pineapple. There are also rose-like floral notes and hints of a honeyed vanilla oak backbone thanks to 20% maturation in new French oak.
Day 8: Bluebell Blanc de Blancs 2010
This was the top wine in a thorough tasting that concluded one of my favourite vineyard tours of the year at Bluebell.
Beautiful rich golden colour in the glass, this has a fuller nose than the 2011, with baked apple, stone fruit, lemon and hints of almond.
Palate has a complex nuttiness, it’s dry but there’s this profound fruity streak of tangy apple running through everything. Really vibrant, lots of citrus and then hints of honey and pastry – it’s absolutely delicious!
Day 9: Chapel Down Blanc de Blancs 2010
Concluding a great year for Chapel Down is what I feel to be the most elegant and refined wine in their range - it's simply stunning!
This is their first BdB with 100% malolactic fermentation and it has spent 4 years on its lees prior to release.
Stunning on the nose with apple, citrus and mysteriously spiced biscuit aromas. The streams of fine tiny bubbles lead to a deliciously creamy and smooth palate, enriched with tangy baked apple, citrus and vanilla pastry notes.
Day 10: Gusbourne Guinevere 2013
A truly excellent and complex English Chardonnay; along with their stunning Pinot Noir this really put Gusbourne on the map for me.
Crisp vibrant lemon citrus with intense buttery toasted vanilla notes with curious nutty aromas.
Super fresh clean acidity matched flavours of lemon and tangy green orchard apples. The mid taste is all about that creamy buttery vanilla goodness, which continues into the aftertaste.
Day 11: Wiston Estate Rosé 2011
A beautiful English Rosé from Sussex; it's weighty, creamy and delicious and would give any Rosé Champagne a run for its money.
There is a really yeasty textured backbone to it, giving unrivalled structure to accompany the ample red fruit flavours of strawberry with crisp lemon freshness and acidity.
This is the most luxurious English Sparkling Rosé I’ve had; it drinks just so well, with a perfect balance of fruit, acidity and sweeter hints.