Looking for the best English White Wines to try this autumn? Here’s the Marasby 5.
We’re exploring English white wines for autumn. That’s because there’s an amazingly diverse English white wine scene.
That’s why our list of 5 English white wines to try this autumn includes 5 different grape varieties. Bacchus is considered by many to be the quintessential English still wine. It’s often characterised as England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. With floral notes of elderflower and cut grass it’s a bit of a marmite wine. ie some of you love it and others really don’t. If you fall into the latter category then we have found a wine to change your mind about this grape.
If you prefer something more classic, then we recommend trying English Chardonnay. Top tip if you like a more full bodied Chardonnay look for wines from the east of the country – especially Essex. A handful of winemakers are making award winning wines that are scoring big with the critics. Or for something a little more adventurous try an English Pinot Gris. A small group of pioneering producers are making extremely interesting and delicious English white wines from the Pinots.
Want to know what we’re drinking as the nights draw in? Here are our five English white wines to try this autumn, all of which are available to buy right now on Marasby Market.
1. Greyfriars Estate Pearl – An everyday English White Wine.
This wine commemorates a local heroine from World War II, and offers a wonderfully easy-drinking, aromatic style of white wine from a blend of grapes. Greyfriars grows all their own grapes on their own chalky-soiled vineyard. They make and bottle everything on site too meaning they have total control over the whole winemaking process. Based in the Surrey Hills they are famed for their award winning English Sparkling Wines and for their combination of great quality and value. At just £15 this is a great intro to English wine.
Taste: Greyfriars describe their Pearl 2022 as a lovely blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay from the 2022 harvest, crafted to create a delicate, fresh but aromatic white blend that celebrates the very best of the North Downs.
2. Gutter & Stars Bacchus 2022 – A Unique English White Wine For Autum.
Gutter&Stars Lost In You Bacchus 2022 is elegant, well-balanced and refined – a Bacchus for fine wine lovers. Typical Bacchus flavours are toned down in favour of zingy gooseberry and passion fruit notes, with silky, rounded texture. In winemaker Chris Wilson’s own words … “This wine doesn’t have any of that bingo hall scented perfume going on.” Chris Wilson makes micro batches of wine in his converted grade 11 listed windmill. Although he’s only been making wine for a couple of years his wines are scoring big points with the critics. His stunning labels are also award winning. Read more about the Gutter&Stars story. Just 550 bottles of this wine are made from Essex grapes in the Cambridgeshire urban winery. Snap it up before someone else does.
Taste: Chris Wilson, owner and winemaker of Gutter&Stars, describes his Lost In You Bacchus 2022 as offering white peach, gooseberry and delicate floral characters coming together with lanolin and lime to create an edgy, but well-rounded wine.
3. Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2021 A Classic English White Wine For August.
Lyme Bay, which is based in Devon, is one of our powerhouse winemakers. They make a wide range of wine from entry level to single estate. As such, their wines are an excellent starting point to explore English wine. They source fruit from around the country to find the best vineyards to make the best wine. Grapes from this wine come from some of the best still wine vineyards in the country in Essex. Their scale and experience mean they produce consistently high-quality wine, even in tougher vintages like 2021. Read more about Lyme Bay in our winery profiles.
Taste: This is classic Chardonnay. A superbly rich, rounded and complex white, made from top quality Essex-grown fruit. Close your eyes, and you could be in Burgundy.
4. Freedom of the Press 2021 A complex English White Wine for Autumn.
Freedom of the Press Pinot Gris 2021 is ripe, complex and surprisingly opulent given the cooler 2021 vintage. It must be that fantastic Essex-sourced fruit. Remeniscent of northern-Italian Pinot Gris with its rounded body and crisp, saline mineral finish. But Freedom of the Press is in Oxfordshire, not Essex. It is one of a handful of “urban wineries” that have sprouted up around the country. Urban wineries generally don’t have their own vineyards and source fruit from around the country to make small batch wines. This gives them the freedom to source the best fruit and experiment year on year. Find out more about Feedom of the Press.
Taste: Gavin Carver, owner and winemaker at Freedom of the Press, describes this Pinot Gris as showing notes of orchard fruit, tangerine and peppery spice.
5. Oastbrook Pinot Meunier 2022 A Distinct English White Wine For Autumn.
Oastbrook can be found in the Rother Valley just 20 minutes outside Hastings, East Sussex. All the wine is estate grown and made on site in their new state of the art winery. This means winemakers Nick and America have a hand in every part of the process from grape to bottle. They are still English white wine specialists and have a raft of accolades from the ‘23 awards season. Read our profile of Oastbrook. We love all their wine, but the 2022 Pinot Meunier, which is a white wine made from black grapes, is one of our favourites. There are just 650 bottles available.
Taste: A light gold colour, with aromas of raspberry and strawberry and a hint of black fruits. It is well balanced with the higher acidity compensated for by the intensity of fruit and creamy texture. Pair with griddled pork or chicken. Or gently melted English brie toasts.
And finally …
At the time of writing all our recommended English and Welsh white wines are available to buy on Marasby Market at the same price as available at the vineyard. But many of the best wines are made only in tiny quantities, so be quick to avoid disappointment.