ESW Pretige Cuvee Tasting
Saturday 2nd March 2019
Did a tasting of three English Sparkling Wine "Prestige Cuvees" (i.e. the really expensive bottles!) - Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvee, Sugrue Pierre Cuvee Brendan O' Regan, and Nyetimber 1086 rose.
London March 2019
John's Pictures

Took Erika for breakfast at Bear and Wolf this morning. In this photo she is looking a bit underwhelmed.

After breakfast, Erika and I set about creating moth defences for our cupboards. This is a contraption of Erika's devising - a lavendar cushion, with cedar sticks dipped in tea tree oil attached.


The first of the wines at the ESW prestige cuvee tasting this afternoon - Chapel Down Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvee. I'm not really a big fan of Chapel Down's regular brut NV, but this was an entirely different wine. Notes of pastry, apples and cream / custard. The acidity which for me is problematic with the regular Chapel Down is completely under control here - I wonder if it has perhaps been through malolactic fermentation? Also suspect some possible contact with oak barrels at some stage, to give the vanilla-y character. This was a surprise hit.

The second prestige ESW - the Sugrue Pierre Cuvee Dr Brendan O' Regan. Unlike the Chapel Down (unrecoginsable from their regular offering) this was, to me, a lot closer to "standard" Sugrue - which is always just straightforwardly very good. Some of the promised complexity was apparently a bit lost on our unrefined palates, and the general consensus was really just "very nice", without being able to find much more to say about it. One note that came up was seaweed, and I thought there were notes of hijiki cooked in mirin - a very slight sweetness and a sort of umami character.

Perhaps a victim of the fact this came at the end of the tasting, by which point our already not very refined palates were getting a bit overloaded, but the Nyetimber 1086 rose was pretty much completely lost on us. We just seemed to get almost nothing from it. Nothing wrong with it, it was perfectly pleasant enough, but rose English sparkling wines are already a bit of a hard sell with this group (I'm generally not a big fan if I'm honest), and Nyetimber seems to have fallen out of fashion a bit with this crowd, so it was really an uphill struggle. This probably deserved a standalone tasting.