Langham’s winemaker Liam Idzikowski was thrilled with the success of their Classic Cuvee 2010: “We are absolutely delighted to have done so well in the Judgement of Parsons Green – not only because of the high standard of English Sparkling Wines overall, but also because the two wines we entered are from our first year of production, and they are two very different styles.
“We only produce sparkling wine; all of which is now Estate grown and made on site, and this is great recognition for our small team.”
Langham’s Blanc de Noir Reserve 2010 was placed eighth in the judging.
A total of 94 English sparkling wines from 47 vineyards were put to the blind tasting test. The Judgement of Parsons Green is organised by Master of Wine Stephen Skelton, a consultant in viticulture and winemaking, a former winemaker himself, lecturer and wine writer.
The aim of the competition is to present probably the widest selection of English sparkling wines for blind tasting and through the results, assess the state of play in this growing sector.
Stephen Skelton said: “The scoring at the top was very tight and the average score of the top 45 wines was higher than in 2013 which was itself higher than in 2012. The message is clear – the top wines get better and better.”
The team of tasters included wine writers, several Masters of Wine, trade buyers and consultants, who tasted different flights of wines in groups, then all together tasted the top 45 wines that gained the highest marks to get the final results.
The top 30 wines came from across the country, from Kent to Cornwall and included a number of new labels on the English wine scene, such as Langham itself, Waitrose’s new sparkling wine from their own estate, Leckford, and Court Garden. Wiston Wine Estate scored three wines in the top 25, including one of the joint fourth position wines as one of the two roses in the top five scores. Some of the best-known producers also featured prominently, such as Ridgeview (with two wines in the top ten) and Camel Valley.
Of the top ten highest scorers, all of the wines were produced by the three classic varieties. Four were Classic Cuvée style – a blend of all three; three were Blanc de Noirs (produced with either or both Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), two were rosé wines and one a Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay).