Henners Brut 2010It’s English Wine Week (28 May – 5 June)! So our Wine of the Month has to come from an English wine producer. With a little help from one of our wine suppliers, Welch & Co, we settled on Henners 2010 Brut.

This is a month in which we celebrate the uprising of viticulture in England, so it had to be bubbles. Not just any bubbles: an award winning English sparkling wine!

Obviously you need to try it. Here’s a little bit about how it’s produced and what it’s like.

The grapes

If you want to test us on the story behind this sparkling wine, we can tell you that it’s made from a combination of Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes. Specifically, 56% of the former and 44% of the latter.

Pressing the grapes

The pressing process used to produce this fizzy delight is known as ‘whole bunch press’ and it’s exactly as it sounds. The whole bunch is put in the press, stalks and all! This is how Champagne is traditionally produced in France. And it’s particularly in line with The Miller’s food ethos of extracting the most flavours and uses from our ingredients. Maybe sparkling wine production should be our next adventure…!

In the wine production process though, pressing the whole grape has a technical role that contributes towards a wine’s colour, taste and what they call ‘mouthfeel’.

The cuvée

To produce this sparkling wine and any Champagne or sparkling wine produced in the traditional fashion, the whole bunch press is done very lightly. So abandon any thoughts of stamping out the juices. These grapes were gently encouraged to give up the best of their juice.

And the best juice of the grape is known as the cuvée. Specifically, it’s the first 2,050 litres of juice from 4,000kg of grapes. Now you know!

Are you a Jilly Golden or an Oz Clarke?

The entire process from selecting the grapes to use, to how they are handled and how long the fizz is aged for, contributes to the finish of this wine. That’s why we’re telling you all this!

But if you fancy yourself as a bit of a wine expert, tell us if you can spot the ripe pears on the nose or even the wiff of a pear tatin with its sweet pastry. And once the soft smoothness has graced your mouth, can you detect a hint of sweet almond finish?

Most importantly, if you enjoy the wine – let us know!

We like it (or else it wouldn’t be on our list!). And it was awarded a Decanter Gold Medal in the 2016 awards. But your opinion is what counts to us. If you vote with your Champagne flutes, we’ll look to keep it on the menu.

A little bit about the vineyard

Henners is owned and run by Lawrence Warr, an automotive engineer turned viticulturist who followed his passion to create the finest English sparkling wines. The vineyards enjoy a long searched for spot in Herstmonceux in East Sussex and produce only grapes for the best of English bubbly.

So now you know what we know and like about Henners. Cheers!