Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve NV England = I preferred Emma Rice’s Chardonnay-dominant blend to Waitrose’s own-label Blanc de Blancs, although admittedly the former costs £6 more a bottle. This is a particularly delicate wine with some light smokiness on the finish. (If you see a wine labelled Classic Cuvée, it is the same wine. Emma Rice explains: the Classic Cuvee has become Classic Reserve as it is now a true non-vintage with a good proportion of reserve wine in it. Waitrose have some stock remaining of the Classic Cuvée labels but they also have the Classic Reserve labelled stock now as well – some shops have both on the shelves.)
Hattingley Valley Sparkling Red Pinot 2015 = Obviously, English sparkling wine has been bubbling about for a while, the now five million bottles produced here each year a chicer option than cheap champagne. But what about red sparkling English wine? Hattingley Valley, the lovely, multi award-winning East Hampshire vineyard, has gone all Christmassy with a limited-edition sparkling Pinot Noir – a creamy, raspberry-ish fizz that makes perfect Christmas Day cooking fodder for those stuck in the kitchen with 12kg of unpeeled potatoes.
2011 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs Brut (magnum)
Average Score: 90 = placed in the top 10 wines in the whole tasting.First taster: Essi Avellan MWScore: 88Note: Lovely toast-complexed nose with hazelnuts and vanilla. Sweet, pure fruitiness. Fluffy mousse, linear and racy.Second taster: Anthony RoseScore: 88Note: Pale lemon, still fresh, subtle aromatic notes, light lemon chiffon-like mousse, shot through with a lemon-zesty sherbety tang, intense and well crafted, with attractive flavors.Third taster: Tom StevensonScore: 93Note: Lovely, classic, toasty blanc de blancs! Intense, not weighty, long and fine, supported by a vivacious mousse. An exciting wine.2014 Hattingley Valley Rosé = A brand new vintage of Hattingley’s Rosé, essentially a Rosé de Noirs made from Pinot Noir, (60%), Pinot Meunier (38%) and just 2% Pinot Noir Précoce.Youthful and lively bubbles with a prominent pink blush colour. Fresh, clean nose with raspberry, lemon and floral cherry blossom notes.The Hattingley has a bold and vibrant freshness – lots of citrus zest and red currant tang. The mid taste is fuller with lots of ripe strawberry and slight red berry tartness that really holds.Crisp and fresher than the previous 2013 vintage from Hattingley, and all the better for it!
2010 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs = A classic 100% Chardonnay sparkler, partially fermented in oak, this would be delicious with hot smoked trout paté or charcuterie and will continue to improve for at least five years.
2010 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs = Rich and sweet with accents of baked apples, this Hampshire fizz has a moreish, biscuit finish that tastes divine paired with white fish dishes.
2013 Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvée = There’s a wonderful combination of the traditional and modern at Hattingley. It is the UK’s first winery to use solar power, and yet sits in quintessentially English countryside. But you can taste the innovation; here they use some oak barrels (like mighty Krug and Bollinger) to give the wine a softer, complex mouthfeel and structure. Truly delicious fizz.
2013 Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvée = Olly Smith’s perfect match with… Fish and Chips!Mineral pure with zesty intensity. A beacon of English quality.
Hattingley Valley Wines Blanc de Blancs 2010 = Four years on the lees has created an elegant, easy drinking Chardonnay sparkler. Oak lends a smooth richness.
Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvée NV = Complex and fresh, this fizz has fine, lemony fruit with some apples and pears adding weight. There are also subtle toasty notes, finishing with brisk acidity.
2010 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs = We’ll all be buying British if we vote for a Brexit, so this is an obvious choice. Very easy-going, a perfect aperitif. It has flavours of spiced pear and apple, with a long, lemon-tinged finish. Compared favourably with a Louis Roederer NV tasted alongside it, which felt a bit dry and less fun in comparison.