Angelic addition to English sparkling wine13th June, 2013 by Gabriel Savage
Ambriel, the latest member of the expanding English sparkling wine scene, has officially unveiled its maiden release.
Founded by Charles and Wendy Outhwaite QC, Ambriel takes its name from one of the angels, while its motto “non angli sed angeli” – “not Angles but angels” – is a pun attributed to 6th century pope Gregory the Great upon seeing some British slave children at a market in Rome.
In 2008 the husband and wife team planted 9.5 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier at Redfold Vineyards, located on the South Downs near Pulborough, West Sussex, close to fellow English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber. In 2012, the Outhwaites recruited the additional help of South African winemaker Kobus Louw.
The Ambriel “Classic Cuvée” is a Chardonnay-dominated blend of all three grape varieties and, although officially non-vintage, is based on grapes from the vineyard’s first harvest in 2010. After blending and bottling, the traditional method sparkling wine spent 24 months on lees before its disgorgement and official release onto the market last week.
Introducing this first release of Ambriel, Wendy Outhwaite said: “We are proud to be producing a wine at a time when those in the know follow their palate, not their prejudices. Without sounding too John Bull-ish, our wines are unapologetically English – not sham-pagne – and they taste divine!”
Priced at £27.50, Ambriel is currently available from Clive Barlow MW at Press Wine Services in Canterbury, as well as Butler’s Wine Cellar in Brighton, The Wine Pantry in London’s Borough Market and St Pancras International station.