08/02/2015 – Hambledon Vineyards, Classic Cuvée NV

Hambledon Vineyards, Classic Cuvée NV, England
It’s no longer a case of English sparkling wine being ‘surprisingly good’, it’s now simply ‘good’. Over recent decades English fizz has come of age and has risen to challenge the best in the world – even if we do allow Champagne to occupy its own special pedestal. This mostly Chardonnay blend, along with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is a delicious case in point with its classic yeast and bready notes over clean apple fruit. In the mouth the mousse is fine, and those apple and lemon flavours are bold and mouthfilling, giving this plenty of approachable charm whilst it finishes pin-sharp with excellent balance. £28.95, Berry Bros. & Rudd

Champagne Taittinger, Prestige Rosé Brut NV, France
Taittinger is an excellent family-run house, and this ‘assemblage’, where 15% of red Pinot Noir wine has been added to the final blend, is crammed with small red berry fruits with a charming, clean and creamy nose. In the mouth it is that red fruit – rasperry, reducurrant, perhaps a hint of strawberry – that plays against the luxurious mousse and, again, clearly defined acidity to make for a very satisfying – and romantic – pink fizz. £36.00, see all stockists on