The 12 Wines of Christmas

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

Region: Kent
RRP: £12.99

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from Chapel Down
Buy from WaitroseCellar

Day 2: Jenkyn Place Blanc de Noir 2010

Region: Hampshire
RRP: £35.50

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy From Jenkyn Place

Day 3: Litmus Element 20 2011

Region: Surrey
RRP: £16.99

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from WaitroseCellar

Day 4: Greyfriars Blanc de Blanc 2013

Region: Surrey
RRP: £21.00

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.

Buy From Greyfriars

Day 5: Albourne Estate Bacchus 2014

Region: Sussex
RRP: £12.95

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from Albourne

Day 5: Albury Estate Classic Cuveé 2013

Region: Surrey
RRP: £29.00

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from Albury

Day 7: Debies Noble Harvest 2014

Region: Surrey
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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from WaitroseCellar
Buy from Denbies

Day 8: Bluebell Blanc de Blancs 2010

Region: Sussex
RRP: £23.99

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!

Read My Full Review

Buy from Bluebell

Day 9: Chapel Down Blanc de Blancs 2010

Region: Kent
Price: £26.99

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.

Read My Full Review (2009 Vintage)

Buy from Chapel Down

Day 10: Gusbourne Guinevere 2013

Region: Kent
RRP: £21.99

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.

Read My Full Review

Buy from Wine Pantry

Day 11: Wiston Estate Rosé 2011

Region: Sussex
RRP: £35.95

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.

Buy from Wiston
Buy From Swig.co.uk

Day 12: Nyetimber Classic Cuveé 2010

Region: Sussex
RRP: £23.99 - £34.99

The highlight of my year in wine was visiting Nyetimber in the summer. Their Classic Cuveé was the first English wine I tried, and this year saw the release of the 2010 vintage, which remains one of my all time favourite English Sparkling Wines.

Beautiful nose with lemon, apples, pear and freshly baked pastry, added complexity of nut, yeast and vanilla.

Whilst retaining the vibrant acidity and clarity of the '09, I find this has a more pleasing textured toasted beauty that the older vintages had.

Read My Full Review

Buy From Majestic
Buy From English Wine Store

John Mobbs
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John Mobbs

John is a self-appointed English Wine ambassador with a flair for wine writing, photography and communication. Founding Great British Wine two years ago, he has a large focussed network of followers and producers giving him unique insights into the emerging, exciting English Wine & English Sparkling industry.
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John Mobbs

Founder of GreatBritishWine.com, John has been a prolific user on wine rating app Vivino for the last couple of years. Now a self appointed English Wine ambassador and with a mission to explore all corners of the UK to uncover the best producers and most exciting wines.