Posted on 25.09.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: Celebrate England’s sparkling success

English sparkling is on a roll and here’s one that really punches above its price.

We had a friend over for roast chicken last Sunday and I popped this open for an aperitif, never having tasted it before. There was a moment where eyebrows were raised, followed by “ooooh” noises and then big smiles. When I saw the price, I did a double take.

Balfour 1503 Foxwood Cuvée (£17 at Co-Op stores) is made exclusively in Kent by Hush Heath Estate, one of the pioneers of English wine, with the name of the cuvée apparently a nod to when the estate was founded. It offers lovely crunchy green apple aromas, with some blossom notes. That trademark bite of English acidity is there, meaning it’s crisp, fresh and delicious with a vibrant mousse and subtle brioche notes. The Co-Op website suggests it’s just Chardonnay, but I am convinced there’s plenty of Pinot Noir too. Whatever, it’s a fabulous find.

Perfect as an aperitif, it’s more than a match for many Champagnes and would be wonderful with a portion of fish and chips.


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