English sparkling wine in world's top 10
An English sparkling wine has been ranked in the world’s top 10 in the Effervescents du Monde competition. Theale Vineyards Founders Reserve 2003 was awarded a Gold medal in the international competition for the best sparkling wines in the world organised by Forum Oenologie in France. An international panel of tasters put the Theale sparkler in the top 10, alongside four Champagnes, a Cremant de Bourgogne, a Cremant d’Alsace and a wine each from Italy, Australia and Argentina.
The vineyard, which is based near Reading, is managed by RidgeView Wine Estate, which also makes the wine under contract for Theale’s owner Tony Laithwaite, the wine merchant and founder of Direct Wines. The medal-winning wine is 100% Chardonnay and is a special cuvee of just 752 bottles.
Adding to the English success, RidgeView Merret South Ridge 2005 was awarded a Silver medal. This RidgeView wine, which has won Silver medals for two previous vintages in this competition, is made predominantly of Chardonnay but also includes the other champagne grapes of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It is made exclusively for The Sunday Times Wine Club and Laithwaites, selling for £15.99.
This year there were 408 wines entered into the Effervescents du Monde from 24 countries. Thirty four Gold medals were awarded, from which the Top 10 wines were picked, as well as 102 Silver medals. Half the wines in the competition were from France, with 50% of those coming from Champagne.