EVENT Magazine for the Mail on Sunday

“Among the best English wine I’ve tasted this year: highly fragrant and scented as rose petals, the freshness to this white is off the chart, somewhere between gooseberries and Granny Smith’s apples. Outstanding English wine for a festive treat.” ~Olly Smith~

By |December 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sendiäna, a new wine from Lebanon

Lebanon has a 5000 year history of wine growing. This is a new wine from Caves de Monastere St Jean, which is based in a monastery in the mountains of Mount Lebanon. They’ve been making wines since 2006, but this is the first under the Sendiäna label. The grapes are sourced from the monastery’s own vineyards (two, both at 1000 m altitude) and contracted growers in the Bekaa Valley. It’s a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Mourvèdre.

The main winemaker here is Father Charnel Hajjar, with help from UK-based consultant winemaker Ulrich Hoffmann.

Sendiäna Grand Vin 2013 Lebanon
12.5% alcohol. A deep coloured but fresh Lebanese red with lovely sleek black cherry and blackcurrant fruit supported by fine, cedar, spicy notes. There’s a hint of black olive here, and also just a hint of attractive greenness, as well as some lively peppery notes. Showing moderate alcohol and a nice combination of sweet fruit and savoury spiciness, this is a really classy effort. It’s not a blockbuster style, but it shows really nice restraint and balance, and should age very well. More old world than new, I reckon. 90/100

The wine isn’t yet available in the UK, but Uli is working on this. Price to be confirmed

By |December 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

Really enjoyed these three from Hoffmann & Rathbone, a high-quality negotiant operation based in Sussex.

Hoffmann & Rathbone Classic Cuvée Brut 2010 Sussex, England
60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier. 12% alcohol, 10 g/l TA, 7 g/l dosage. Debut vintage from Ulrich Hoffmann. Very bright and focused with pithy, tight lemon and grapefruit characters. There’s a hint of ripe apple and pineapple as well as subtle bready notes. Very tight and linear with keen acidity. This will probably develop beautifully with time. It’s just so pure and focused. Tastes even better on day two. 90/100

Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Réserve 2011 Sussex, England
85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay. Four different vineyards: the Chardonnay is barrel fermented. Some of the Pinot Noir is left to ripen later and then used to make a red wine that’s blended in to give the colour. This is interesting: it’s really toasty and supple with nice citrus and herb characters. Really seductive and spicy with a bit of grip. Lovely, accessible wine. 90/100

Hoffmann & Rathbone Bacchus 2015 Sussex, England
11% alcohol, 5 g/l residual sugar, pH 3.3, TA 7.5 g/litre. Single vineyard, 50% barrel fermented. Reductive nose with exotic tropical passionfruit notes. Lively and bright with a lovely elderflower character, plus hints of hedgerows in spring. Very pretty and bright with a hint of sweetness. This is exotic English Bacchus at its best. 89/100

By |December 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2015 Wine Competitions

Great Results All Around!

Hoffmann & Rathbone Blanc de Blancs 2010 – Decanter Gold Award

Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Réserve 2011 – Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships Gold Award

Gusbourne Guinivere 2013 – UKVA Trophy

Albury Organic Vineyard 2014 – UKVA Gold


By |July 19th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2015 Wine Competitions


Guests and racegoers at the Investec Derby Festival will be raising a glass of English wine for the first time as the racecourse serves a selection of locally sourced wines.

Epsom Racecourse will serve local still and sparkling wines produced by acclaimed producers Albury Organic Vineyard and Hoffman & Rathbone in Sussex.

Guests in the Jockey Club Suite will be able to enjoy a sample of all wines and the Silent Pool Rose will be available to the public in owners and trainers, the Mezzanine Champagne Bar and the new Tree Bar in the Grandstand.

Tasting notes for each wine include:

Albury Organic Vineyard – Silent Pool Rose 2013

Silent Pool Rosé 2013 is a dry, elegant, crisp, Rosé wine made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. It has aromas of strawberry, light cherry and peach followed by fresh summer fruit flavours with balanced acidity and a long finish.

Hoffmann & Rathbone – Rose Reserve 2010

The 2010 Rosé Réserve is a characterful and moreish pink coral coloured sparkling rosé. A pretty, floral and fragrant nose of strawberry and apples. The wine displays enticing flavours of red cherries and fresh figs with crisp citrusy acidity on the mid-palate, perfectly balanced by a delicate dosage.

Simon Durrant, General Manager of Epsom Downs Racecourse said, “During the two day Investec Derby Festival we try and source as much produce from local farms and we are delighted to be working with local Vineyards and wine producers for the first time and hope to extend our partnership with them to other hospitality outlets in 2015.”

To book tickets to the Investec Derby Festival please visit www.epsomdowns.co.uk or call Epsom Downs Racecourse on 0844 579 3004.

By |May 23rd, 2014|General News|Comments Off on ENGLISH WINES SERVED DURING INVESTEC DERBY FESTIVAL 2014

Jancis Robinson …the best English red I have tasted.

Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2011
21 Dec 2013 18:08 by Jancis Robinson

I must credit wine storage specialist Jeremy Pearson of LCB for suggesting I taste this wine after we had been discussing English red wine via email. The produce of one of my favourite English sparkling wine producers and an unusually warm vintage. Clones 828, 777 and 20/13, all de-stemmed (sounds sensible in the English climate). Fermented at 22 deg C for 14 days the aged for seven months in French oak of which 20% was new. TA 6.4g/l. Smart screw-capped bottle.

Unusually (for England) depth of crimson. There is a light hint of Pinot Noir on the nose and the palate is certainly well balanced. No excess of sweetness, nor (just) acidity, nor oak, nor tannins. It’s clean and very respectable though I don’t think I would take the risk of ageing it for that much longer. It’s probably the best English red I have tasted.

For information on Contract Winemaking please e-mail us: info@vivid-wines.com

By |May 3rd, 2014|Wine Review|Comments Off on Jancis Robinson …the best English red I have tasted.

Bumper Crops Has Meant Extra Tanks for Vivid Wines

With even greater yields than anticipated and some new clients in 2013, Vivid Wines has had to order additional tanks to accommodate the wine.

Winemaker Ulrich Hoffmann has been working virtually none stop over the last week to press and process the grapes being delivered.

By |November 1st, 2013|General News|Comments Off on Bumper Crops Has Meant Extra Tanks for Vivid Wines