10 Best English Wines To Drink In 2023

Local wines to see you through summer

So long to the world of wine being dominated by the long established vino regions of the world: bring on some gems from our own shores. Wine expert Tom Gilbey picks out the best English wine to drink this year.

10 Best English Wines To Drink In 2023

Our southern counties, Sussex in particular, have gained a reputation for their crisp and elegant bottle fermented sparkling wines. These hold their own, and often beat, their more famous opponents from Champagne, but what about our still wines?

As fires rage in Greece, and much of Europe struggles with feverish heat, our winegrowers are confidently planting higher quality and better known grape varieties and they’re developing a uniquely English style to the wines. As we have done with our English sparkling wines, many English vineyards are steering away from trying to imitate their more famous French counterparts and championing what we can do best with our ever developing climate, expertise and experience – producing still wines, white, red and rose, with an energy and a freshness that’s increasingly difficult to find in warmer countries.

By others’ standards, the English wine industry is indeed fledgling, but it is unquestionably quality-driven, sustainable, and made by people who truly and deeply care about their product. Below are 10 phenomenal wines that show the best of English wines for enjoying this summer.

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Gusbourne Estate Guinevere Chardonnay 2021

Gusbourne Estate Guinevere Chardonnay 2021, Kent

A fresh and bright Chardonnay, with subtle hazelnuts & cream. This is a white that can go toe to toe with top level Chablis.

£35, gusbourne.com

Stopham Pinot Gris 2022

Stopham Pinot Gris 2022, East Sussex

We don’t see many English wines made from Pinot Gris but it grows brilliantly in some pockets of Southern England. This dry white has crisp acidity and plenty of pear and lychee fruit leaving you wanting more and more…

£18.95, stophamvineyard.co.uk

Chapel Down Kits Coty Chardonnay 2020

Chapel Down Kits Coty Chardonnay 2020, Kent

Chapel Down’s top single vineyard Chardonnay really shows the pedigree of its vineyards. It’s a conversation stopping, delicious wine that’s a benchmark for the best still white wines we can produce on our shores.

£37.50, tomgilbey.com

Hambledon Classic Cuvee NV

Hambledon Classic Cuvee NV, Hampshire

A lemon sorbet wonder of a sparkling wine from England’s oldest vineyard that’s sensibly priced and brilliantly honest. Honest in that it’s well made, consistently delicious, very ‘English’ in flavour and doesn’t break the bank.

£34, hambledonvineyard.co.uk

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2015

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2015, East Sussex

This wine is probably as good as we can produce by way of sparkling wine at this price level.  With delicate aromas of butter and brioche, crisp citrus notes on the palate, all delivered with fine bubbles and fresh acidity, this is a lovely example of top flight Blanc de Blancs with bottle age.

£48, nyetimber.com

Denbies Greenfields NV Brut

Denbies Greenfields NV Brut, Surrey

Denbies has upped its game enormously in recent years and this is an excellent staple fizz. It’s brilliant with canapes and any summer garden party you can throw at it.

£26, ticketisland.azurewebsites.net

Chapel Down Brut

Chapel Down Brut, NV, Kent

Another entry from Chapel Down because it’s just so good. This wine draws you in with an immediate green apple freshness, from your first sip the deep and flavourful brioche and green fruit flavours ensure this is a glass you will remember.

£30, tomgilbey.com

Hundred Hills Signature Rose 2018

Hundred Hills Signature Rose 2018, Oxfordshire

A real treat of a bottle with ripe raspberries and strawberries that show the exceptional Oxfordshire micro-climate of this vineyard that gets exceptional ripeness for an English fizz.

£44.50, thegoodwineshop.co.uk

Gusbourne Estate Boot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Gusbourne Estate Boot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Kent

As good as English red gets. Bright cranberrys, crunchy red cherry, this is a bright and elegant red showing the best currently achievable with Pinot Noir and our climate.

£35 per bottle from the vineyard, gusbourne.com

Camel Valley Atlantic Dry 2022

Camel Valley Atlantic Dry 2022, North Cornwall

This could take the place of any Picpoul de Pinet or Muscadet and is so fabulously English in style with its cut grass, elderflower and hedgerow notes. It’s our liquidised summer meadow in a wine glass.

£15.95, camelvalley.com

Tom Gilbey has over 30 years of experience in the wine trade. In 2020 he founded his eponymous wine company, which curates wine-focused events in venues across London, plus sells wine online. Find out more at tomgilbey.com

Featured image: Gusbourne Estate