5 of the best from the 2023 awards season to enjoy this summer.
We’re looking at award winning English Sparkling Wine for summer drinking. With so many new producers coming on stream it can be hard to choose which to buy. As such wine awards can be a great starting point. Experts put English Sparkling Wines to the ultimate test. They taste blind and focus on the aroma, colour, taste, and consistency of each wine. Judges assess wines on their own merit which means there are multiple medal winners in any one competition. For example, at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards there are more 700 gold medal wines. Sounds a lot, but less than 4% of wines win this accolade. So a gold medal really is an indication that you are drinking one of the best.
What Are The Best Awards For English Sparkling Wine?
So when looking for an award winning English Sparkling Wine, which awards are the best? Far be it for us to judge the judges … but we recommend the following as a good introduction.
Decanter World Wine Awards DWWA
Now in its 20th year, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) has firmly established itself as one of the world’s largest and most influential wine competitions. Respected globally for its rigorous judging process and world-class judges, DWWA results are trusted internationally by both trade and consumers.
International Wine Awards IWC
What started out as judging a few wines around the kitchen table thirty years ago, has grown into one of the most respected wine competitions in the world. Each wine is tasted by multiple judges in two entirely separate judging rounds before scores and medals are awarded. So, when you buy an IWC medal wine, you know that the wine is truly exceptional.
These awards are recognised as the premier competition for the wines of England and Wales, with the number of entries and quality of wines increasing year on year. This is an incredibly focused tasting and with only UK wines tasted it gives smaller vineyards a chance to get noticed.
Independent English Wine Awards
A high quality, consumer focused English wine competition, committed to spreading the word and helping to increase sales of English wine.
So, we’re shining a spotlight on 5 award winning English Sparkling Wines to try this summer.
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 For A World Class Award Winning English Wine.
2023 DWWA, Best In Show – 97 points
This award winning English Sparkling wine is the result of phenomenal wine making skill, energy and time. As the judges note this wine has “remarkable assurance and accomplishment.” To win a Best in Show at the Decanter Awards is a serious achievement. 18,250 wines are tasted in this competition and only 50 get Best in Show. Although it’s the most expensive wine in our selection, for £65 you can drink one of the best wines in the world. What are you waiting for?
Tasting notes: Elegant and crisp, this wine is full of citrus aromas, with lemon, pink grapefruit and orange zest, followed by notes of green apple and white flowers’. Try with home made old winchester cheese straws for dreamy early evening nibbles.
Raimes Classic Brut 2018 For A Supremely Elegant Award Winning English Sparkling Wine.
2023 DWWA, Gold – 95 pts
Raimes is a family run vineyard with a passion for farming and provenance. You can read the Raimes story here in Simon’s producer profile. It’s in the heart of Hampshire, a region well recognised as one of the best areas in the UK for Sparkling Wine production. This is because it has lots of south facing chalk slopes, which is the same soil make up as Champagne. This is a supremely elegant bottle of wine from the 2018 golden vintage. It’s drinking beautifully now and will age well.
Taste: what the judges say: Orchard characters on the very elegant nose, good concentration on the palate with crisp citrus and bready notes. Long, elegant finish and division of structural power.
The Grange White From Black 2018 For A Powerful Pinot Meunier.
2023 International Wine Challenge, Gold
The Grange is another vineyard based in Hampshire with a strong reputation for making award winning wine. White from Black is called as such because it is a white sparkling wine made from 100% black Pinot Meunier grapes. It’s from the 2018 golden vintage and is drinking beautifully now and will also age well. This is a rich and powerful wine that really packs a punch. Often presented as a Christmas wine, we also think it’s great for late evening summer nibbles, especially when the wine’s the star.
Tasting notes: Alluringly pale gold in colour, with luscious white stone and orchard fruit on the nose that integrates with lightly toasted nuts, sweet spice, and buttered patisserie. The palate is full, rich and mouth-coating beautifully balanced by a refreshing acidity. Pair with British charcuterie and crumbly cheddar by the fire pit.
Digby Fine English 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut For A 10 Year Classic.
2023 Wine GB Awards, Supreme Champion
This wine has won gold and trophy awards in different competitions over the last few years. As such, it’s scored well with different tasters on different days. And in 2023 it smashed it at the Wine GB awards winning four trophies, including Best Sparkling, Supreme Champion. That makes it an absolute banker. The tasting rooms are based in Arundel, West Sussex and the fruit is from selected vineyards across in Kent and Sussex.
Dominated by Chardonnay, this wine epitomises Digby’s ‘sophisticated yet racy’ approach to winemaking, with significant ageing (on lees and in the bottle) for balance and complexity.
Taste: This is a crisp and taut wine full of citrus and green apple fruits. Balance is created by deep levels of flavour from the 35% Pinots on the lingering finish.
Oastbrook Special Cuvee 2014 For A Fantastic Value Vintage Award Winning English Wine.
2023 Independent English Wine Awards, Gold
This English Sparkling Wine is nearly 10 years old, but it’s still incredibly fresh and full of fruit. 2014 was a very good vintage with near perfect conditions. And that’s why it’s aged so well. At £38.00 this is wonderful value, so snap it up while you can. It’s great to drink now and we think it could age further. Oastbrook is in the Rother Valley just outside Hastings in East Sussex. Read the Oastbrook story in Simon’s winery profile.
Taste: This is a rich ripe, full and surprisingly generous Cuvee. Aromas of lemon, pear and apple and hedgerow flowers and hints of brioche.
A final thought…
England is making world class award winning English Sparkling Wine. And yet, 99% of the wine we drink in the UK is imported. Discover English and Welsh Wine and help grow the 1%.