£32, cambridgewine.com; £32.50, tivoliwines.co.uk, grapebritannia.co.uk, luckinswinestore.co.uk, padstowwinecompany.co.uk; £32.99, lokiwine.co.uk; £33, oldbridgewine.co.uk; £33.10, hedonism.co.uk; £35.50, jnwine.com
I have been waiting a while to taste the amazingly talented Liam Idzikowski’s new creations since he left Lyme Bay to work with Michael and Heather Bunker and their exceptionally well-situated, young vineyard in Danbury in Essex. Its wines are everything I hoped they would be and more, and you ought to do everything you can to find a bottle or two. Only 10,132 bottles were produced of my featured wine and the other three in this piece (MoneyWeek has many more readers than the bottles made at Danbury Ridge).
The reason for my excitement about these wines is their sheer impact and luxuriousness on the nose and palate. These are wines that do not, in any way, shape or form, seem like they come from a cool climate. My featured chardonnay is terrifically smooth, mildly exotic, juicily oaky, incredibly long, amazingly ripe and fabulously ostentatious. Its big brother, 2018 Chardonnay Octagon Block (£52), is even more structured and concentrated and, even though the oak is ridiculously expressive, it is a sensationally balanced wine. The 2018 Pinot Noir (£34) is equally posh and plush, with Volnay-like appeal and its texture is unlike any English pinot noir to date. The 2018 Pinot Noir Octagon Block (£55) adds even more spice, drama, head-turning fruit density and prodigious length. These are true signposts – pointing the way for us all to a stunning future for English wine.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com).