Monday, 8 July 2019
Denbies Cubitt Blanc de Noirs 2013
English fizz is now arguably an established classic; you can comfortably serve a glass of English fizz to guests at the start of a good meal and not feel the need to explain or apologise.
There are other wines with bubbles in, of course - of which some more sophisticated than others. Where English fizz excels is at the very top; crafted, complex, precise sparklers that can be as good as any you will find.
Wines this well-made and long-aged in a cool-climate are necessarily not cheap to produce or therefore buy; but they represent good value for the quality.
Established in 1986, Denbies in Surrey is now England's largest vineyard and accounts for a tenth of all UK plantings - I have historically always found their wines to be impressive.
For those with a technical interest, this is a vintage Blanc de Noirs fizz, meaning that it is a white wine made from black grapes, here Pinot Noir, with secondary fermentation in bottle and a low dosage, resulting in a weightier, more aromatic and more textured wine with some evolution at six years old.
I normally make it a principle not to drink vintage fizz until at least 10 years; this is drinking nicely now, and will improve further with aging.
Cubitt Blanc de Noirs 2013 (£34, Denbies, denbies.co.uk) ripe red-berry fruits, orchard fruits and citrus with leesy, yeasty brioche and autolysis. Substantial, savoury and well-structured with linear acidity and minerality; pure, precise and poised.
Very Good; and will continue to improve with age.
Drink as an aperitif; match with meaty white fish, such as monkfish, Dover Sole in butter or soft white cheese.
Also available from Denbies is a newly-released Sparkling Bacchus at £16.95.