|Laithwaite's triumphs at Judgment of Parsons Green with English sparkling wine|
|Written by Elinor Zuke|
|Wednesday, 06 March 2013 17:54|
A sparkling wine grown by Laithwaite's Wine co-founder Barbara Laithwaite and her friend Cherry Thompson has picked up first prize at the Judgment of Parsons Green.
Their Wyfold Vineyard 2009 sparkling wine beat competition from 78 other English sparkling wines, three Champagnes and one Californian sparkling wine when blind tasted by a panel of 14 judges, including seven MWs. Laithwaite's Theale Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 took second place.
The event was arranged by English wine expert Stephen Skelton MW, who set it up in order to judge UK-grown sparkling wines against competitors from around the world.
"The results, three years in a row, show conclusively that the best UK sparklers can beat Champagnes and other quality sparkling wines with no shadow of a doubt. Of course, not all UK sparkling wines are as good as the best, but my hope is that this type of judging and feedback will spur producers on to greater things," he said.
"The first two wines, both from the Laithwaite's stable of vineyards, were clear winners. As for the Wyfold wine, I found it complex and multi-layered with a very good balance of sweetness and acidity."
Wyfold Vineyard sparkling wine 2009 is made from grapes grown in Barbara Laithwaite's vineyard in the Chiltern Hills. Volumes from the 1ha plot are so small that Wyfold works with Ridgeview in Sussex to make the wine.
The vineyard was established in 2003 and grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Its 2009 vintage was its first wine to be put on general sale and entered into a competition.
"This is our proudest moment and it couldn't have come at a better time – tricky conditions meant there was no vintage in 2012 and who knows what this year will bring. We've got the 2010 and 2011 vintages safely in though – and we'll take the same care as with the 2009, so let's hope this isn't the last win for Wyfold," Laithwaite said.