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English Sparkling Wine at Richmond Wine Society

by | Jul 2, 2015 | Richmond Wine Society | 0 comments

English sparkling wine was our theme for the early July tasting and as the temperature gauge hit 35 degrees we sweltered through a fabulous selection of top class fizz from Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset, assisted by some examples from Champagne, Franciacorta and Argentina.

English fizz is on the ascendant and the wines are regularly winning top awards in international wine competitions not only in their own categories but against top quality sparklers from around the world.

Hattingley Valley is not a name that rolls off the tongue but is creating a big stir in Alton, Hampshire. We tasted the classic cuvee, blanc de blancs and the phenomenal Kings cuvee – recently awarded 96 points in a Decanter tasting. The estate is predominantly planted with Chardonnay followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. All the wines were elegant, well balanced and fresh, with the Kings Cuvee showing extra richness thanks to the barrique fermentation of the base wines.

We also tasted through an eclectic selection from Nyetimber. This estate, based near Horsham, has become the most important producer of fizz in the UK and now has 160 hectares under vine.

The 2007 from magnum was superb, the Rose 2009 was a delicious fresh and fruity example and the unusual demi-sec was a revelation. Sweet but not cloying and would have been perfect with some cheese or a fruit dessert.

Overall, everyuone marvelled at the quality – they are not cheap but definitely holding their own against some serious competition.

Meet Tim Syrad

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“Throughout the 17 years I have attended Tim’s wine tasting events, he has continued to deliver his extensive knowledge of wine and wine-making with great charm, and lots of humour, making the evenings not only informative, but also great fun. In the course of an average year, the tastings cover a kaleidoscope of different wine themes – interesting and entertaining for all, novices and experts alike. And the wines taste pretty good too!”

“We have been going to Teddington Wine Society events for a number of years. Tim runs the evenings with bonhomie and humour and wears his considerable knowledge lightly. The evenings are great fun, the wines are always a little bit different and help to expand knowledge and tasting horizons.”

“I have attended the Richmond Wine society for over ten years and always enjoyed Tim’s self-effacing style and gentle humour. His knowledge is globally eclectic and presented in a clear, interesting and always stimulating way. Every guest I have taken there has enjoyed the evening immensely. Tim also offers a wide range of wines to buy and my red cellar has provided great pleasure to my own dinner guests.”

“I’ve been enjoying Tim’s tastings for over 20 years – he is a great teacher, raconteur and wine expert. He is seriously passionate about his wine, but there is nothing serious about his tastings, which are always informal and relaxed. A lovely way to spend an evening and enjoy some fantastic wines.”

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