See this guide to our autumn collections for how to get the most from our regional assortments of recent wine reviews.
With a grand total of more than 170 tasting notes, this is one of biggest collections, from fizzes that cost under £7 a bottle to some of the most luxurious bottlings on the market.
Tasting notes are split into two groups: Champagne, and all the rest. Within that, we've divided them up by colour and then in descending score order. GV denotes wines which struck us as especially good value when we tasted them.
Really fresh bakery aromas. Ripe apple fruit. Long, complex and layered – maturing really well. Full and concentrated. Lovely fresh green apple finish. (RH)12%
Delicious biscuit and autumn fruit character – seems a bit sweeter than in the past? Developing, oxidative notes on the nose, but nothing worrying. Exemplary stuff. (RH) 12.5%
Not much nose; slightly soapy if anything. Not much undertow. Pretty ordinary but if it has to have champagne on the label...
Current vintage. 2002 expected next April. Greenish tinge. Dense and vibrant on the nose. Very lifted and flirtatious though I'm not 100% certain I would put the correct price on it blind. Racy, wild flowers. A distinctive champagne.12%
Complex nose though still very lively. Seems a tad fragile on the palate. I think I would just as soon drink the current (2006-based) regular Blanc de Blancs NV. 12%
Quite a bit of age on the nose. Racy and quite delicate on the palate. Well made – just the right quality of fizz. Quite long. 12%
Quite complex nose and very fresh palate. Feather-like impact on the palate. Definitely not overassertive! Impressive length though. 12%
Broad, perfumed nose. Very zesty and satisfying. Still bracing acidity. Lots of building blocks here, even if they are not yet quite in the right place. Promising. 12%
Wild flowers and summer fruits on the nose. The acidity seems a little harsh but useful for wine students? Still quite youthful. 12.5%
Note that exotic 20% grape! Pale greenish gold. Smells almost like a wine rather than a champagne. Very clean and fresh. Sort of like Chablis + CO2. Very refreshing certainly. Pure rather than complex. 12%
Clean and fresh with an undertow of serious fruit. Quite broad and well balanced. The acidity does not stick out. No great bargain but very reliable. 12%
Fruit smells very slightly well-worn and there's some strong cooking apple acidity on the palate. Not exactly fine. 12.5%
Good biscuity nose and very fresh fruit on the palate. Pretty GV even if not that complex on the palate. I don’t think there's a great hurry to drink this.
Golden tinge. Sweeter, deeper, more generous nose than the Blanc de Blancs. Deep and commanding, rich and resonant, like the long low note of a cello. Clove. Orange peel. A radically different wine to the Blanc de Blancs, wearing the patina of time like a burnish. Very leesy and bready and rich. (TC) 12%
Smell the chalk! Oysters shells and saline, massively mineral. Like crushed powdered lemon stone. Zinging. Electric tension. Very architectural and cool – an icy beauty. With time in glass, touches of orange blossom and hints of honey. Really transformed by food – the lean and linear lemon broadens and deepens to satsuma and fennel. Still salty. A wonderful wine. (TC) 12%
Gentle texture but it seems a little softer and sweeter than the regular NV. Pleasant rather than thrilling. 12.5%
Bready nose with some real interest. Solid stuff – something to get your teeth into, in a good way. Very clean and neat and tastes as though it had quite a bit of age on lees. 12.5%
Not much nose and pretty stolid and chewy on the palate. Astringent now. 12%
Dense and very appetising with great personality. Lively. Well done! Worth looking to see when this is on special offer. Long and dry. Apples. 12%
Putty and great balance. Nothing to object to … smoky, pungent finish. 12.5%
Burtin, the own label specialists. Clean and respectable but no real personality. Ticks the boxes. 12.5%
Lifted and youthful and a bit simple. Rustic. Hard work! 12.2%
Light, delicate but with great breadth and interest for short term drinking. GV 12.5%
Complex, well-settled nose and lightly soft on the finish but with lots of interest on the way. Grapefruit peel on the finish after much throatwarming. 12%
Pale rose copper colour. Not very fizzy. Round – relatively low acidity. A bit soft. 12%
Also in the distinctive Ruinart bulbous flask. Very pale rose pink. A hint of some bottle age and then quite marked acidity. Definitely better than most rosés but not as dry and firm as Deutz's. 12.5%
Serious, interesting nose with apple and citrus on the palate. Doesn't exhibit much autolysis although there is complexity here – spice. Even so, I hope it's not too rude to say this is only 'interesting for cava'. (RH) 12%
From a Hampshire vineyard planted in 2005. An equal blend of Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay for this vintage but subsequently the Seyval was replaced by Pinot Noir. This vintage was made on the estate rather than contracted out and the finish seems just a tad sweet.
Straw yellow. Just a touch yeasty and hints of ripe white fruit with a distinct, spicy note. Full flavoured, ripe yellow and white fruit palate with a rustic but sustaining bubble. Unpretentious and with real depth of flavour to it. (WS) 12%
West Sussex. 2011 was a very good vintage, 2012 was awful, 2013 may be good. The Goring family planted in 2006, five miles north of Worthing. Made to a standard recipe. Inaugural vintage was 2008. Very small yield. Basket press. They use their own winery and the French winemakers from Nyetimber. 16 acres. 25,000 bottles production. They also make wines for other people.
Clean but very tart even though it has been three and a half years on the lees. Dosage is only 3.3 g/l. Zero dosage style! Bracing.
RS 7.19 g/l, pH 3.03, acidity 7.57%. Some real evolution on the nose. Crisp palate with just very very slight staleness of fruit but overall very successful.12%
Very lively bead. Nothing like champagne on the nose! Lemon oil and veg notes. Very Xarello. You have to love it to love this. Admirably dry finish and very fine bubbles. Quite demanding but obviously very well made.
Leafy, but not quite as underripe as their sparkling Chardonnay. Light finish. Pretty odd stuff. (RH)
Auxerrois and Pinot Gris.
Fruity and aromatic. Does resemble Pinot Gris, sort of, but is very simple. (RH)
Dosage 10.5 g/l, 34 months on lees. Subtle, graceful nose. Citric and herbal, but not terribly engaging. Entirely competent, but lacking the wow factor it usually has. (RH)
36% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, 27% Pinot Meunier, dosage 9.8 g/l, 40 months on lees. Toffee, bread – showing some pretty serious evolution. Oxidative but not at all flat. Even so, not sure I’d age this much further. Starting to fray slightly. (RH)
Rather muted nose and extremely marked acidity. Then on the palate the fruit seems a bit strident and brash – not to say simple. Can’t quite imagine paying £20 for this. 12%
A tad sweet but reasonable texture and certainly GV even if a bit simple. Could become tiring if drunk in quantity. 12%
61% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir and 12% Pinot Meunier from 19-year-old vines planted on chalky South Downs. Site chosen for similarity to Champagne. 2010 saw superb flowering conditions and excellent ripening with near to perfect sugar and acidity for sparkling wine. Grapes were hand-harvested and the clusters were whole-bunch pressed in a specialist Coquard sparkling wine press before fermentation with Champagne yeast. 100% malolactic and 24 months spent cellaring on lees in purpose built underground cellars. Winemakers Mike and Simon Roberts. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. TA 8.3 g/l, pH 3.01, Dosage 8.0 g/l, RS 9.2 g/l. IWSC 2013 Silver Medal and IWC 2013 and DWWA 2013 Bronze Medals.
Very frothy. Edgy in terms of acidity. Very clean but pretty tart. NB this is more expensive at Waitrose than most of their own label NV champagnes … by no means disgraceful but not cheap!
Very neutral with tight bead but not too sweet and GV. 12%
Masses of acidity. Still very tight. Not much fun yet!
Lovely clarity and a juiciness and purity of fruit that is usually exactly what Cava is missing. Testament to Waitrose's buying nous. (RH) 11.5%
Bright lemon zest on the nose and a very slight tannic grip. So tangy and fresh but with depth and length too. (JH) 12.5%
Reclaimed Pais. Very pale pink indeed. A bit of green acidity then some sweetness. Clean but a bit sweet and sour. Worthy effort in theory but I'm not sure I could very positively recommend this vintage. I preferred the 2011.12%
Based on Shiraz. Open, easy and without too much added sugar.
Made at Hattingley. Wow – very fruity! Incredible strawberry and cherry fruit, the like of which I've never tasted – still less in an English wine! This is thanks to the use of Pinot Précoce, apparently. So bright and ripe. Hard to say if it's typically English, but I do love its boldness. (RH)
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, dosage 11.8 g/l. Pretty light and simple. Introverted, though the fruit character is very delicious. Deserves a bit of age to open up. (RH)
Very pale rose pink. Smells of almost nothing and a bit astringent on the palate. 12%
Ttitska, Chinebuli, Goruli Mtsvane, Saperavi. Charmat. Semi dry. Delicate red fruit on the nose, quite faint, almost stony. Pretty sweet and syrupy without a syrupy texture. Touch of honey. (JH)12%