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English sparkler expands range

One of the newest faces on the English sparkling wine scene, Ambriel, is launching its first blanc de noirs expression onto the market this week.

Named after an angel, Ambriel is produced by Redfold Vineyards on south facing slopes in West Sussex. Set up by Charles and Wendy Outhwaite QC in 2008, the brand’s first release – a Chardonnay dominated “Classic Cuvée” – launched last summer. Since then Ambriel has secured listing at outlets including the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Lea & Sandeman, Vagabond Wines and Private Cellar.

The new Pinot Noir-based sparkling wine uses grapes from the 2010 harvest, spending three years on lees before disgorgement in March this year.

Available from a number of UK independent merchants and direct from the producer, Ambriel Blanc de Noirs has an RRP of £27.50 per bottle of £150 for a six-bottle case.

Commenting on developments within the brand since its initial launch, Wendy Outhwaite told the drinks business: “I think the Ambriel Classic Cuvée has improved enormously with a little time, and I am really excited about some of the experimentation we have been doing in the winery.”

Among these current trials she pointed to a batch of Chardonnay, destined to be turned into a blanc de blancs for release in 2017. Having barrel fermented the grapes in four year-old white Burgundy barrels using a Chablis yeast, Outhwaite declared the result “delicious” as it went into bottle.

“I am hoping that the alchemy of the next three years on the lees turns out as we hope,” she remarked. “I am totally over-excited.”

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