We were honoured when our Ambriel Classic Cuvée MV was nominated by Decanter Magazine as one of their Wines of the Year 2020. Only two English Sparkling Wines were.
The January 2021 edition of Decanter has now arrived – and guess what? We came joint second with 95 points of the Sparkling Wines featured in the list, together with Krug 2006. We are delighted!
Each of the judges (Andy Howard MW, Ronan Sayburn MS and Beth Willard) awarded it 95 points. Anthony Rose described it as ‘A refined, elegant style of English Sparkling‘ and Andy Howard MW described the ‘English wine with the extra ageing [as] an outstanding example’.
What is striking is how much older most of the other Sparkling Wines were (for example, House of Arras 2004, Krug 2006, Gosset 12 Ans de Cave, Billecart-Salmon, Cuvee Nicholas Francois 2006). We’re genuinely thrilled that our comparatively youthful Classic (its grapes come from the 2013 and 2014 harvests) shows so well among such elder statemen. Decanter rightly noted that the Ambriel Classic had more age than usual for an English Sparkling. The results reinforce our view that prolonged ageing on the bottle lees brings magical transformations. Just let those Sleeping Beauties lie.
What was striking also was the pricepoint. The Ambriel Classic was much less expensive than most. I will spare others blushes, but prices for most Champagnes were around the £100 or £200 mark. Only one Champagne was under £50. It makes the Classic at £28.95 look very good value.
2020 will probably be remembered gloomily by most for its global pandemic. Here at Ambriel HQ we prefer to remember the good stuff. We will cherish the honour of becoming one of Decanter’s ‘WIne of the Year 2020’ and celebrate (relatively inexpensively) by popping a few corks!