Zut alors! English champagne beats French rivals to be crowned best in the world


Blackleaf
#1
With a long history of crushing defeats to their English rivals, in wars such as the Hundred Years' War, the Seven Years' War and the Napoleonic Wars (despite the English often being vastly outnumbered), this has got to be the most humiliating for the French (though the pasting at Trafalgar comes close).

An ENGLISH champagne has beaten off its French and Italian rivals by being named the best in the world.

Experts have hailed Nyetimber's Classic Cuvée 2003, made in Sussex, as the best bubbly on the planet.

The fizzy wine costs just £25 a bottle but beat rivals costing more than TEN TIMES as much in a blind taste test at the World Sparkling Wine Championships in Verona, Italy.

It is the first time a British champagne has won top honour.

Another English champagne, Camel Valley's Pinot Noir Brut made in Bodmin, Cornwall and costs £29.95 a bottle, also won an award for the 'rest of the world' category.

Nyetimber's Classic Cuvée 2003 is produced at a vineyard in West Chiltington, West Sussex.

There are 400 commercial vineyards in the UK, all of them in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland aren't warm enough).

It's about time an English champagne was named best in the world. After all, despite its French-sounding name, it was the English who invented champagne in 1632, before Dom Perignon was even born. But don't expect the French to admit that champagne wasn't their creation.

Sparkling performance: British fizzy wine beats world's top champagne-makers to be named best bubbly on the planet

By Daily Mail Reporter
28th January 2010
Daily Mail


Top prize: England's Classic Cuvée 2003 beat rivals costing ten times as much in a blind taste test

One is revered around the world as one of the finest Champagnes and has a grand history dating back centuries.

The other is a little-known relative newcomer from West Sussex.

But an English vineyard was popping corks today after beating top makers such as Bollinger to be crowned the world's best sparkling wine.

Experts have hailed Nyetimber's Classic Cuvée 2003, made in Sussex, as the best bubbly on the planet.

The fizzy wine costs just £25 a bottle but beat rivals costing more than ten times as much in a blind taste test at the World Sparkling Wine Championships in Verona.

It is the first time a British bubbly has won the top international honour to be officially hailed as the world's best sparkling wine.

The drink - made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes - has 'aromas of mandarins, vanilla and lemons' as well as 'shortbread and light apricot' with 'biscuity notes playing a supporting role'.

It was up against classic champagnes made by France and Italy's leading producers, including Louis Roederer, Bollinger, Pommery, Gosset, Joseph Perrier and Devaux.

But it took top prize after the panel of experts awarded it 634 points.

Officials at the vineyard in West Chiltington, West Sussex, say the success of the vintage was down to the hot summer of 2003, which produced world-beating grapes.
Owner Eric Heerema said: 'It really has been an extremely exciting year for all of us.

'This is a significant win on the international stage and and to win against champagnes is extremely rewarding.'

The prestigious Bollicine del Mondo contest is organised by Italy's leading wine magazine Euposia.

Beppe Giuliano, director of Euposia, said: 'This is an outstanding success for England and my congratulations go to Nyetimber for their win.

'We were so impressed with the wide variety of wine regions that were represented in this competition.'


Prize-winning: Grape pickers at the Nyetimber Estate in West Sussex. The wine is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes

Nyetimber say it was made following the 'memorable hot summer of 2003' which resulted in 'one of our fruitiest wines'.

It is described as: 'A very attractive wine with great freshness and zing. In appearance, the wine is brilliant gold with a fine-beaded mousse.

'On the nose, there are aromas of mandarins and vanilla with notes of lemon zest, shortbread and light apricot underneath.

'This is a very fruit-driven cuvie with yeasty and biscuity notes playing a supporting role. On the palate, all three grape varieties are in evidence, but Chardonnay is to the fore at the moment.

'Concentrated in fruit flavours of pink grapefruit, melon and apricots, the wine displays a pure minerality and is typically complex and well balanced."

A panel of six experts awarded Nyetimber the gold medal - just one point ahead of second-placed Aquila Reale Riserva, by winemakers Cesarini Sforza, of Italy.


Award: Cornwall-based winemaker Bob Lindo, of Camel Valley, won a trophy in the Best International Classical Method category

The wines were tasted blind by a panel of wine experts led by championship president Dino Marchi.

Camel Valley's Pinot Noir Brut made in Bodmin, Cornwall and costs £29.95 a bottle, also won an award for the 'rest of the world' category.

Bob Lindo of Camel Valley, said the results were a 'big win for the British'.

He said: 'This is a huge honour, on a world scale. The fact that it is judged blind really does show we've beaten everyone fair and square. To think that we just beat Bollinger is just remarkable.'

The Nyetimber vineyard was established in 1986 when Stuart and Sandy Moss decided to try and open a vineyard outside France to produce sparkling wine to rival champagne.

They discovered the geological similarities between the Champagne region in north eastern France and nearby southern England and after much research, chose the 120 acre estate.

They began the vineyard planting using the three classic champagne varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.


Christopher Merrett invented champagne in 1632

THE CLAIM by the French to have invented champagne has been revealed as nothing but Gallic bluster.

It was a 17th century cider maker from Gloucester who first came up with the idea.

Christopher Merrett not only devi­sed the method of fermentation which gives champagne its sparkle.

He also invented the stronger glass needed to stop the bottles exploding under pressure.

Merrett delivered a paper to the Royal Society in London in 1632 setting out his discovery. And that was six years before Dom Perignon, the French monk generally credited with inventing champagne, was even born.

The first champagne house was not founded in France until 1729 – almost 100 years after Merrett published his ideas.

His role in the invention of champagne has been uncovered by author James Crowden.

Merrett and other English cider makers had been experimenting by adding sugar to acidic French white wine, starting a secondary fermentation in the bottle.

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Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 3rd, 2010 at 02:10 PM..
 
SirJosephPorter
#2
I personally think Champaign is grossly overrated. I for one have never believed in paying exorbitant, outrageous prices for Champaign. I wouldn’t mind paying money for a good bottle of wine if it is worth it, but Champaign? I don’t think so. I would of course drink it if somebody gives me a glass of Champaign, but I wouldn’t buy one myself.

Same thing with caviar, I think it is grossly overrated. It is OK, but nowhere near worth the outrageous prices it commands. It is expensive just because it is scarce, for no other reason. During our recent Egypt vacation, they had caviar in one of the breakfast buffets. An Indian in our group tasted caviar for the first time. “Is this what all the fuss is about?” was his reaction, and I had to agree with him.

Champaign and caviar may be the rich man’s food but I personally don’t see much in it.
 
AnnaG
#3
Funny, I thought champagne had to come from Champagne, France and everything else was called sparkling rose or something.
I've never heard of champaign but I think there was an explorer over here by the name of Champ l ain a few years ago.