Winners of the first UK Wine Awards announced today
Coates & Seely La Perfide Blanc de Blancs 2009 crowned Supreme Champion
Winning wine is served in royal palaces and in Paris’s iconic George V
London, 31st May 2017: The best wine produced in England and Wales has been revealed today as the winners of the first UK Wine Awards are announced. Coates & Seely’s La Perfide Blanc de Blancs 2009 was awarded Supreme Champion sponsored by Hotel du Vin, beating almost 300 other English and Welsh wines to the title.
The Awards were created by the UK Wine industry, in association with Hotel du Vin, Country Life and Waitrose, to celebrate the impressive achievements of English and Welsh sparkling and still wines. The industry is one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK, and has more than doubled in the last ten years alone. Sales of this country’s wines have now spread across the UK and they are now exported to some 27 markets overseas.
The Awards received an incredible 293 entries, with 20 gold, 36 silver and 127 Bronze medals awarded to winning wines. The judges, a panel of 12 experts led by TV presenters, broadcasters and writers Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke, also had eight trophies to award. Hampshire-based Coates & Seely proved the stand-out producer, taking home four of the eight trophies.
The company was founded in 2009 by Nicholas Coates and Christian Seely with the aim of bringing together the finest traditions of French winemaking craftsmanship with the glory of the English terroir.
Producing an average of 65,000 bottles each year in its custom-built winery, Coates & Seely’s sparkling wines are fast gaining a reputation for excellence, enjoying significant demand from the royal palaces. Its reputation is growing abroad, too - Coates & Seely currently exports about 25% of its wines overseas, and is even listed in Paris’s iconic George V hotel.
The crowning of Coates & Seely’s sparkling wine comes in the same month that saw Taittinger make history as the first champagne house to plant vines in the UK, further demonstrating the strength of English Sparkling Wine.
Full list of trophy winners:
- Supreme Champion, sponsored by Hotel du Vin: Coates & Seely La Perfide Blanc De Blancs 2009
o RRP – £65.00
o Judges comment: “Fabulously elegant and refined with the seductive toasted brioche and honey notes from age.”
- Best Overall Still Wine, sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Son: Bolney Wine Estate Foxhole Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016
o RRP – £18.99
o Judges comment: “A delightful example of Pinot Gris; pure, expressive, and fragrant with notes of honeysuckle and spiced pear.”
- Best Overall Sparkling Wine, sponsored by Croxsons: Coates & Seely La Perfide Blanc De Blancs 2009
o RRP – £65.00
- Best Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, sponsored by Close Bros Brewery Rentals: Coates & Seely La Perfide Blanc de Blancs 2009
o RRP – £65.00
- Best Sparkling Rosé, sponsored by Tubex: Coates & Seely Rosé 2009
o RRP – £65.00
o Judges comment: “From its antique gold colour to its rich sour cherry and truffle flavours, this is a graceful, mature rosé to sip and savour.”
- Best Classic Cuvée sparkling wine, sponsored by Henderson Insurance: Digby Fine English Brut 2010
o RRP – £39.99
o Judges comment: “A great vintage and a seriously classy wine that offers a compelling mouthful of white peach, honey and freshly baked bread.”
- Best Still Bacchus, sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Son: Lyme Bay Bacchus Block 2015
o RRP – £15.89
o Judges comment: “Packed with zesty lime, fennel and elderflower flavours, this is English Bacchus at its refreshing best.”
- Best Single Varietal Still White, sponsored by MHA Carpenter Box: Bolney Wine Estate Foxhole Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016
o RRP – £18.99
Robin Roux, Head Sommelier at Hotel du Vin, commented, “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in demand for English and Welsh wines in recent years. People are recognising not just the quality of English and Welsh wines, but the fact that they keep getting better. A growing number of customers are looking for advice on pairing English wines with classic dishes, or wanting to support wines produced in their region, and sales are going up and up.”
Susie Barrie MW said, “We’ve all witnessed the stratospheric rise in popularity of UK wines on the global stage in recent years, and we now have a contemporary competition judged to international standards to reward the best of the best.
“From the bigger, established producers right through to new estates launching their first vintage, we tasted a host of world-class, medal-worthy wines. The Blanc de Blancs category was particularly impressive, as was sparkling rosé, but there were some lovely surprises from Pinot Gris, and the Pinot Noirs undoubtedly show early signs of greatness too."
She added, “What an exciting time for UK wine.”
Oz Clarke added, “We set the bar high with these awards, to show the true value of this competition and what it has set out to do, and we are proud that we did. The winners are the epitome of the talent that lies in the winelands of the UK – and the range of winners shows just what extraordinary directions this industry is going in.
“Isn’t it brilliant that a producer as long established as Coates & Seely has shown the ongoing excellence of its wines? Hampshire terroir at its finest – ably backed up by ever-successful Kent and Sussex, and Cornwall weighing in from the Golden West.”
The UK Wine Award winners have been announced to coincide with English Wine Week, which takes place this week (27th May to 4th June). More information available at englishwineproducers.co.uk.
Email: [email protected]
020 7796 4133
English Wine Producers – Julia Trustram-Eve on 01858 467 792 or 07775 760 451
NOTES TO EDITORS
A full list of the awards is available here
Images of Coates & Seely and the winning wine are available here
About the UK Wine Awards
The UK Wine Awards is the national competition for wine produced from grapes grown in England and Wales, inspired by the growing popularity of English and Welsh wines. Designed to showcase the different styles of sparkling and still wines produced on these very shores, the Awards are run by the United Kingdom wine industry in association with Hotel du Vin, Country Life and Waitrose.
The wines were judged to an international standard by 12 top wine experts that regularly judge the biggest international competitions. Chaired by Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke the line-up comprised Masters of Wine David Bird, Richard Hemming, Alex Hunt and Phil Tuck, as well as Christine Parkinson from Hakkasan, Rebecca Hull MW from Waitrose and Hamish Anderson from Tate restaurants. They were joined by writer and broadcaster Jane Parkinson, M&S wine buyer Elizabeth Kelly and Corney & Barrow buyer Rebecca Palmer.
• 293 wines were entered
• 62% of these won medals, in keeping with the proportion of well-established international competitions
• Eight wine trophies were awarded
• 20 Gold, 36 Silver and 127 Bronze medals were awarded
What the Awards can tell us about English and Welsh wines:
- English Sparkling Wines are particularly successful. Though only 42% of the wines entered were sparkling, 75% of gold medal winners were sparkling wines, as were 67% of the silvers
• Chardonnay is the dominant grape variety in terms of wins, gaining six of the 20 golds and 50 medals overall for still and sparkling wine
• Pinot Noir also proved a successful variety in England and Wales, winning 42 medals overall
• The most popular still variety remains Bacchus, England’s third most planted variety (after Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), gaining just under a third of the total medals won by still wines
• Pinot Gris is an emerging variety in England, winning golds for a still and a sparkling
• Medal winners were a mix of established and new producers, showing that even from the first vintage wine, some excellent wines are being produced in the UK
• The same can be said for the number of established producers that are proving time and again that the quality of their wines is consistent
• A wine that has seen more ageing has proven to be the overall winner – this shows the ageing potential in English sparkling wine
About Hotel du Vin
Hotel du Vin is an elegant collection of 17 town house and city centre properties with a particular emphasis on food and beverage. Each boasts its own individuality and personality, resonating from the character of the historic buildings that have been sensitively converted into stylish boutique hotels. The essence of the brand lies in its unyielding commitment to doing the simple things well. A love of wine resonates with substantial wine menu that features many of the world’s best and often relatively unknown wine producers. The substance and style of the bedrooms are completed with attentive touches including Egyptian cotton bedding, monsoon power showers and roll-top baths.
Locations: Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Harrogate, Henley-on-Thames, Newcastle, Poole, St Andrews, Tunbridge Wells, Wimbledon, Winchester and York
About Country Life Magazine
Since its launch in 1897, CountryLife has been the world’s most celebrated magazine of the British way of life, its countryside, properties and gardens. Its matchless authority, exquisite photography and world-class writing have ensured its position as one of the nation’s truly great magazines. Country Life’s readers have always sought the best things in life from food and antiques to the finest properties and estates to buy.
With a 63% market share of English sparkling wines, Waitrose has been a champion of homegrown wines since the beginning. The national high street chain lists the largest range of English and Welsh wines available in the UK, with over 100 wines from across the country currently available. Waitrose also now produces its own English sparkling wine, Leckford Estate Brut, which is made from grapes grown on their farm in Hampshire.