Wine of the Month – June


And jubilations

I want the world to know I’m happy as can be

“Congratulations” Cliff Richard (1968)

June is a month of multiple celebrations – the Diamond Jubilee, an extra day off work. Plus Wine of the Month is one year old.

And who knows, after the wettest drought on record, the current heatwave might even last over the extended Bank Holiday weekend, so those street parties won’t be a wash-out.

So, feeling all jubilatory, our Cambridge-based wine merchants have decided to push the boat out a bit with a patriotic, celebratory theme.

Carter’s Sparkling Brut Vintage 2009 – £19.95, Joseph Barnes Wines

You can’t get more patriotic and celebratory than English fizz – and this is a superb example by any standards.

Made from a blend of Orion & Chardonnay grapes using the traditional Champenoise method, this is from a 3ha vineyard in Boxted near Colchester, known as Carter’s Farm.

Sipped in the garden on a summer’s eve, this is the colour of an early sunset in the glass.

On pouring, it foams enthusiastically with a fine mousse – initially light and fresh, after an hour or so, it opens up to shows ripe orchard fruits on the palate, a savoury leesiness, food-friendly acidity and a persistent, yeasty finish.

With complexity, finesse, good length and balance, this is a really good bottle of vintage fizz.

Joseph Perrier Brut NV Cuvée Royale NV – £28.95 Cambridge Wine Merchants

Made from a roughly equal blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royale is aged for three years in the winery’s Roman-era cellars.

It foams enthusiastically on pouring and is bright with a pale golden tint in the glass.

The nose is distinctly fruity, whilst the palate shows ripe orchard fruits and leesiness; there is crisp-apple acidity, aromas of brioche and a fine mousse.

Long on the palate, it has a persistent, savoury finish and has all the balanced, elegant and complex finesse you would expect of a wine that counts at least two British monarchs amongst its supporters.

Andrea Faccio Moscato d’Asti – £6.99 (half bottle) Bacchanalia

Moscato d’Asti is a low alcohol, semi-sweet frizzante with flavours of ripe peach, apricot, galia melon and a touch of sherbert.

If you are having an afternoon tea and need something celebratory to cover all bases (sweetness and fizz) without breaking the bank, this could be your perfect solution.

It comes in a half-bottle, but packs in plenty of ripe-fruit flavour, and is refreshing enough to drink at a garden party.

Denbies Vineyard Select Chalk Ridge Rosé 2011 – £10.99, Noel Young Wines

This English rosé is made with Rondo, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. Unfortunately at the time of going to press, there were no stocks available for review, but it is due into Noel’s shop in time for the bank holiday weekend.

Noel describes it as vivid pink in colour, full of tangy cherry, strawberries and cream. Vibrant and just off-dry making it a great BBQ street party wine.

Recommended Wine

With such a range of styles and prices, there is no overall winner this month – just for great wines for street parties and celebrations. Jubilee-tastic.


Bacchanalia –

Cambridge Wine Merchants –

Joseph Barnes Wines –

Noel Young Wines –

Image credits – Jubilee Bunting

Cake –

Copyright Tom Lewis 2012

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About Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis is a wine writer and educator from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria and France. His comments have been published on, Local Wine Events, as well as in the local press in his hometown of Cambridge, UK. When it comes to buying wine, Tom’s philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from. He writes a regular blog, the Cambridge Wine Blogger which launched in 2009 and is a presenter for the Cambridge Food and Wine Society. To read more of Tom’s work, please check out
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