The month of February and the days leading up to Valentine’s Day are some of my favorite times of the entire year. It is not that I am a romantic hopeful, but I like to use this time of year as an excuse for exploring some of the best English sparkling roses. The selection this year is dominated by young, fruity wines with a few more complex and textured ones. This selection of wines from Sussex, Kent, and Dorset was a very rewarding one. Each wine offered a warm embrace, perfect for opening on your big day.
Busi-Jacobsohn rose 2018
Grapes: Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
Are you looking for a generously romantic, fruity rose? Busi Jacobsohn is the wine for you. This wine was created from a Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier blend, with only a small percentage (7%) fermented in oak barrels.
This is a confident pink wine with a nose that matches. Cherry, red apple and raspberry are all present, as well as a hint of candy apple.
The palate is also generous, with brisk acidity (the dosage is low, at 4.6g/l) and ripe, exuberant red fruits from the warm, fantastic 2018 vintage.
The owners of Busi-Jacobsohn are foodies, and I have heard that the homemade pasta is delicious.
Busi-Jacobsohn: Buy for only PS39.00Coolhurst Lady Elizabeth 2016
The tab at the neck of the bottle is a very attractive feature. It is a great way to reveal the wine’s secrets. This 100% Pinot Noir is a celebration of the grape.
Lady Elizabeth is a bottle that has a strong aroma of strawberry, red cherry, and raspberry.
This wine is also a delight on the palate, with its cranberry and ripe cherry flavors.
I detected a subtle savory taste – perhaps a hint of black pepper and star anise. This is a great option for a foodie. I can imagine it going well with roast lamb.
Coolhurst: Buy Coolhurst products
Use code LADYEVAL21 when checking out Langham Rose 2017
Grapes: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
The winemaker told me that this was the best Langham wine to date. The wine is a blend of Pinot Noir (54%), Pinot Meunier (23%), and Chardonnay (23%), with a dosage of only four g/l. Only 23 % of the wine was fermented in oak for its primary fermentation.
This wine has a huge nose, with notes of wild strawberries, grapefruit peel, and raspberry, as well as roasted nuts and spices.
Langham Rose is a bone-dry wine due to its low dosage. However, I found that it was incredibly rich and full. A rich fusion of strawberries and cherries follows the tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, and cherry flavors.
This wine would be great with food, but I could sit and stare into my partner’s eyes, letting myself get lost in its wonders.
Buy from Langham for PS29.90Henners Rose NV
Grapes: Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier
Henners’ latest rose (stay tuned for more Henners posts later in the month) is made using the Saignee Method, which gives the wine its pink color by pressing the grape skins rather than adding red wine. This is a blend of Pinot Noir (35%) and 65% Pinot Meunier.
The Henners is a delicate color with a clean, brisk nose of lemon and chalk, as well as cranberry, raspberry, and biscuit notes.
The taste is a rush of red berries, citrus, floral, and savory notes, which add structure to a relatively clean, lean red fruit profile.
This rose is particularly nice with pastries. Could you open it on Sunday for a romantic breakfast to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Henners: Buy for only PS40.00Herbert Hall Brut Rose 2017
Grapes: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir
Herbert Hall wines are always complex and have much depth. The 2017 blend is only recently released and is almost a third Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a little Pinot Meunier.
The Herbert Hall has a pale salmon color and a scent that reminds you of strawberries, lemon peel, and shortbread.
The taste is bright and brisk; the bottle that I tried was just recently dispensed in December. This is true to Herbert Hall’s style. It combines bright red berry flavors with biscuity sensations, and there is a hint of creamy white chocolate.
This would go perfectly with some Valentine’s Day indulgence in chocolate – maybe a white chocolate dessert with strawberries?
Shop at Herbert Hall
Use code LOCKDOWN30 when checking out Simpsons Canterbury Rose 2018
This is another example of the excellent red fruit concentration I have experienced in Kent’s 2018 vintage sparkling wine. This 100% Pinot Noir is full of classic red berry flavors.
I noticed a red berry scent of cherry, strawberry, and cranberry. The rose petal was sprinkled on top.
The palate is delicious, and the Pinot Noir character really shines through. There are lots of flavors, like ripe strawberries and red cherries, as well as a creamy and soft mid-taste.
This bottle, which is bursting with fruit flavors, is rounded and juicy. It is a great choice for Valentine’s Day.
At the moment, no. If I write another English Wine book, it will be quite different from this or its predecessor. The UK wine industry has not yet been covered in enough depth. While a regional book was successful in the context of Sussex By The Glass, I feel that it is too soon to divide UK wine production neatly into regional divisions.