In a nutshell: An unusual, full bodied English sparkling red made in West Sussex.
The lowdown: Using 100% Dornfelder, a red grape from Germany that's adapted very well to English vineyards, and made using the traditional method it being a red sparkler marks it out somewhat. The nose is full of plums, red cherry & sweet blueberries and it has a wonderful creamy richness yet is packed full of chunky summer fruits, like a summer pudding. The hint of spice on the lingering finish completes it deliciously.
When to drink: A big ripe mouthful it goes well with grilled or barbecued chicken, or otherwise with a rich pudding, or fruit cake.
The estate, located in the village of the same name on the edge of the South Downs about 30 minutes north of Brighton is in the heart of England's wine producing district.
Established back in 1972 it predates the current upsurge in the English wine industry however under Sam Linter, daughter of founders Janet and Rodney, and who now heads up the winemaking operations the estate has kept its finger on the pulse of modern practices and standards. Without doubt Bolney ranks among the foremost of English wine estates in both quality and ambition and they've done much to raise the reputation of English wine as a whole.
In contrast to many they don't concentrate on sparkling wines alone and they also produce high quality still red whites and rosés to the same exacting standards many of which are repeat award winners.