‘Passion project’ fizz, newly crowned as England’s No.1 sparkling rosé. A mere 1,100 bottles remain available – order now, then savour at leisure!
Corks are popping in the Chiltern Hills after one of our family of winemakers swept the board at the world’s biggest wine show.
Barbara Laithwaite’s tiny Wyfold Vineyard in South Oxfordshire doesn’t produce much (yields are miniscule) and you won’t find it on supermarket shelves, but the sparkling wines from this passion-project vineyard are nothing short of exceptional.
It’s not exactly an overnight success … featuring on Raymond Blanc’s wine list, recommended by the wine columns of every major newspaper, adored by TV’s Oz Clarke … even making waves on Instagram.
But then came the London Trophy. An award from The International Wine Challenge is one of the ultimate guarantees of quality. But to win a trophy? That means champion of the champions … another level again.
In fact while Wyfold won 95 points and was named Best English Sparkling Rosé, it was a whisker from beating every French competitor, too. Charles Heidsieck Rosé Champagne 2008 was the only pink to earn more (96pts) but at around £110 a bottle.
The Trophy is testament to the patient work that goes into making each bottle – across five years – and two decades of nurturing this unique vineyard site.
“Wine is all we do here. There is no visitor centre, no gift shop … just our cherished vines. And a shed for me to warm up in when pruning in winter!” explains Barbara.
“It was bit of an experiment really – a crazy one now I think about it. What would happen if at every step you chose the quality option. Well we’d founded our tiny two-hectare estate and had a whole family of wine people to help. So why not?”
It was far from the easiest journey, but Wyfold’s debut vintage was a Grand Champion in London and a decade later quality remains an obsession here.
If you’ve already tasted a glass, you’ll know all about this wine’s ability to seduce. If not, it’s probably time you discovered it for yourself – while we still have some.
This luscious English sparkling rosé is made in the same painstaking way as top-vintage rosé Champagne. It’s aged for over three years on its lees for richness and biscuity complexity, then disgorged following traditional methods and readied for release once deemed perfect for enjoying.
The results are something special. Here’s the IWC judges’ verdict …
“Pale salmon-pink colour. Intense and lively with an electric acidity that wraps around apple flesh and redcurrants. Bread crust and spice add to the tight intensity. It will age well.”
Every sip is pure drinking pleasure. A wine your guests will love, but good luck finding a bottle. Wyfold’s production is tiny and just 1,100 bottles of the Trophy vintage remain.
Barbara’s not one for the spotlight … but we want to sing her praises anyway. Join us, and raise a glass to England’s finest pink fizz.