The UK and the US have always had a special relationship: we may be divided by a common language but apparently our palates are in synch. Anne Krebiehl MW @AnneInVino reviewed English Sparkling Wines and encouraged her American readers to give it a go.
The reason why Wine Enthusiast is so influential is that all the wines are tasted blind and tasted against each other in peer-group flights. The reviewers do not know the producers or prices of the wines. It is scrupulously fair and not susceptible to influence. The scoring is a percentage system.
While it is always a little nerve-racking to have your homework marked, we had three of our wines reviewed. Here’s how they did. Spoiler alert – we have saved the best ‘til last.
AMBRIEL ROSÉ – 93 POINTS
‘The merest hint of pink grapefruit adds delicious raciness to the idea of strawberry and cream on the nose. The palate takes these notions and merges them into a seamless vision of toned richness, fruity depth and sonorous joy. All this is underpinned by an electric fault line of freshness—a guiding light that lasts beyond the long, clean and expressive finish.’
A score of 90-93 is defined as ‘Excellent. Highly recommended.’
AMBRIEL CLASSIC CUVÉE – 94 POINTS
‘Wet stone and rounded yeast define the nose. The palate conveys a picture of utter harmony: the finest fizz conveys pure lemon freshness that sets off the creamy autolytic notes to perfection. This is grown up and serious, offering glimpses of both tart and ripe apple freshness and lasting appeal with its long fresh finish. It’s pure class.’
A score of 94-97 is defined as ‘Superb. A great achievement’.
AMBRIEL BLANC DE BLANCS 2010 – 95 POINTS EDITORS’ CHOICE
‘Both ripe and tart red-apple notions perfume the nose against a subtle backdrop of yeasty richness. On the palate, a fine mousse disperses these flavors and adds the most subtle hint of honey to them. This is classy and restrained, rich but toned, tart but moreish with its sustained note of pure freshness. This wonderful rendition of really fine English fizz has a lasting finish. This will continue developing. Drink now–2025.’
We are delighted that the Ambriel Blanc de Blancs 2010 was the ‘Editor’s Choice’ which means that it ‘offers excellent quality’ or ‘has unique qualities that merit special attention’.
Naturally we are grinning with happiness – or at least as much as our stiff upper lips will allow.