Hambledon Classic Cuvèe, an English sparkling wine produced by the UK’s oldest commercial vineyard in Hampshire, has trumped some of Champagne’s best-known names in a blind tasting organised by Noble Rot wine magazine. A panel of 13 experts – including Jancis Robinson MW, Dr Jamie Goode from wineanorak.com, Neal Martin from e-robertparker.com, Sunday Times wine columnist Kate Spicer and Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset – declared Hambledon Classic Cuvèe the clear winner from a field of 12 Champagnes and English sparkling wines. The wine beat household names such as Pol Roger, Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger, in addition to five smaller grower Champagnes and three other English fizzes. The full story of the tasting will be published in Noble Rot magazine (www.noblerot.co.uk) tomorrow (3rd November), but news of the results has already started to filter out into the UK media via telegraph.co.uk and jancisrobinson.com.
Managing director of Hambledon Vineyard, Ian Kellett, said: “We are thrilled by this result for Hambledon – it’s a great testament to the hard work of the whole winemaking and viticultural team. But it’s not just an accolade for Hambledon, it’s a real triumph for the English sparkling wine industry, especially as England was outnumbered 2 to 1 in the tasting.
The Classic Cuvèe was our first wine released from our resurrected Hambledon and we are working hard to get better as we learn how to match our terroir and our winemaking. It has set quite a high hurdle for us from the start, but given that we want to produce one of the world’s leading sparkling wines, and brands, it must necessarily be challenging.”