About the Winemakers
Sugrue South Downs
Winemaker Dermot Sugrue, described by the late Steven Spurrier as "the best winemaker in England" has consistently garnered critical acclaim. The Sugrue label was set up by Dermot with his wife Ana to make Chardonnay-dominant sparkling wines that are allowed to be what they want to be.
Blackbook is the first solo project from winemaker Sergio Verrillo, and his wife Lynsey. Sergio grew up in the US, a son of Italian and Hungarian immigrants. He enrolled at Plumpton College in East Sussex where he earned a degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 2014. Sergio is a winemaker who has a great appreciation for the classic production methods and the breadth of experience to ensure that each wine he produces is unique and distinct.
Adrian took over as Winemaker at Westwell Wines just before harvest in 2017. His focus is on making wines using very little intervention in the winery and lots of hands-on work in the vineyard. Westwell's range of Skin Contact, Amphora and Field Blend wines have seen them stocked in restaurants throughout the country, and their range of sparkling wines have won multiple competitions. Previously, Adrian ran a music company in London, and co-founded record label Moshi Moshi.
About the Wines
Sugrue South Downs (RRP £44)
• 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir
• Jenkyn Place Vineyard, Hampshire, planted 2004 on greensand with fractured chalk, approx. 80m above sea level
• Mount Harry Vineyard, East Sussex, planted 2006 on clay loam over chalk, approx. 70m above sea level
• Storrington Priory Vineyard, West Sussex, planted 2006 on sandy loam over chalk and greensand, 50m above sea level
• Very small vintage due to spring frosts, average yield across all vineyards approx. 4 000kg/ha; bottles produced 7,700
• 90% fermented in stainless steel, 10% barrel fermentation, with partial MLF
• Bottled in July 2018 and first disgorged after three years on lees in June 2021 at 8g/L
• Residual sugar: 8g/L. 12% abv
"A most subtle hint of petrichor precedes the creamy notions of raw, citrus-zest-flecked shortcrust pastry on the nose. The palate comes in with a serene litheness that is balanced and harmonious. There is something sleek, something weightless about this that nonetheless comes with resonance and depth. Bottle age will make this shine even more."
Anne Krebiehl MW for Falstaff • 94 points
Blackbook Winery (RRP £20)
• 100% Pinot Noir
• Crows Lane Vineyard, Essex
• 100% destemmed and barrel fermented, aged in old burgundy barrels for 8-9 months, 1 year of bottle age
Westwell Wines (RRP £27.50)
Officially launched as part of English wine week, June welcomes a new wine release from Westwell: Wicken Foy - the younger sister to our non vintage Westwell Pelegrim.
Wicken Foy has been created specifically for independent retailers. We want to support and champion the fantastic indies who we work with by releasing a wine which is only available to buy from them and in this case from us (plus a very small amount will be available from our cellar door to vineyard visitors).
Wicken Foy is a traditional method wine made from the same three classic Champagne varieties, but aged on lees for 18 months rather than the three years we age Pelegrim.This has resulted in a beautiful wine with a fresher style which we think you'll love.
This wine goes with everything, so we had a bit of fun and put "Monster Munch" on the food pairing notes on the label. It goes without saying we don't mean pickled onion.
English Wine Week Tasting with Blackbook, Sugrue & Westwell
Join Westwell's winemaker Adrian Pike alongside Sergio Verrillo from Blackbook and Dermot Sugrue from Sugrue South Downs for a guided tasting through three of their respective wines on Instagram Live on Wednesday, 29th June at 6pm.
The trio will work their way through three bottles whilst chatting English wine, winemaking techniques and taking questions.
To join in with the tasting, order your Tasting Case of three from Westwell by midnight Friday 24th June.
If you want to join at a later date, the tasting will be recorded and there will be a small number of cases set aside which will be available until July from our website.