Another English sparkling wine beats Champagne at prestigious wine competition to be declared one of the best in the world
An English sparkling wine has once again beaten Champagne at a prestigious awards.
Sandridge Barton, a Devon estate with 40 years of history, wowed industry experts to be declared a Master – the top award – at the Global Sparkling Masters 2023.
The expert judges, including six Masters of Wine, gave it this top medal after tasting well over 200 wines from every corner of the globe.
The competition, organised by industry-leading publication the drinks business, was open to any sparkling wine made anywhere in the world.
Sandridge Barton’s Blanc de Noirs was one of just seven wines awarded the top Master medal, an even higher accolade than Gold, equating to 97+ points.
Sandridge Barton, a Devon estate with 40 years of history, wowed industry experts to be declared a Master – the top award – at the Global Sparkling Masters 2023 (stock image)
This put the home-grown success story in the same league as Champagnes from Lanson and Laurent-Perrier, as well as wines from the famous regions of Asti and California.
Patrick Schmitt MW, chair of judges, praised the wine for its aromas of cooked apple, freshly baked bread and puff pastry, as well as the zesty, bone dry finish.
He described the Master medallist as ‘a super fresh fizz packed with flavours of crisp, fresh orchard fruits.’
Winning the prestigious medal is even more remarkable because the Blanc de Noirs 2020 is the inaugural release in the company’s premium range.
The vintage is the first sourced from their new estate at Sandridge Barton; the team, previously known as Sharpham Wine, completed their move to the site near Stoke Gabriel in 2022.
Reacting to the win, Duncan Schwab, the CEO and Head Winemaker, claimed it as ‘a testament to the harmonious blend of passion, skill, and artistry that we pour into each bottle.’
Sandridge Barton’s Blanc de Noirs was one of just seven wines awarded the top Master medal, an even higher accolade than Gold, equating to 97+ points (stock image)
He took the win as evidence that ‘English wines have the potential to establish themselves as a prominent player in the global wine market, offering unique and exceptional expressions of terroir and winemaking expertise.’
Two other English wines proved this point by winning Gold medals at the competition: the All Angels Classic Cuvée 2015 and the Busi Jacobsohn Blanc de Noirs 2018. The English successes mirror that of Woodchester Valley, the Cotswold winery that sold out an entire vintage after winning a Master medal in last year’s Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters.
With English wines increasingly challenging Champagne, judge Patricia Stefanowicz MW thinks we should take note: ‘they are more than understudies in their roles.’
It comes after an English sparkling wine was named one of the best in the world at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, as red, white and rose from the UK bagged top spots for the first time.
While British wine was looked down upon by critics for decades, changing acidity levels of soil where grapes grow in the UK means homegrown bottles now rivals that of France, Spain and Italy.
In total, 143 UK wines picked up gongs at the awards with one from Kent being awarded the ‘best in show’, praised for its ‘citrus purity, a seaside freshness, and an unmistakable stoniness’.
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 was given a best in show accolade, while winemakers across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent also saw their wine pick up gold medals.