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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
2 May 2007

As purple pagers may have read in Can a wine be both weak and wonderful? I have been looking for examples of lower alcohol wines and thought that England would be ideally placed. As it turned out, thanks to the chaptalisation habit, it was not as easy I thought but I put out a call to England's vignerons and here are some of the resulting suggestions for wines at 11% or less. I have added tasting notes to those I have tasted. The best place to buy them is usually the vineyard but you can also try

I'll be publishing a more comprehensive report on English wine on May 26 but in the meantime you might also be interested in this thread on the members' forum about English and Welsh vineyards.

A'Becketts, Estate Rosé £6 (10.5%)

This blend of Pinot Noir with 28% Reichensteiner is lovely. The Pinot really stands out with great perfume and it's very clean. A fair price too.

Brightwell Vineyard, Crispin 2005 £6.80 (10.76%)

I found this blend of Reichensteiner and Bacchus grapes a bit heavy and not quite dry enough to be sold, as it is, as a dry wine. I liked their bone dry Oxford Rosé 2005 at £8 however.

Lambourne, Phoenix £8.99 (10.3%)

Pebblebed, White £8.50 (10.5%) from

Wickham Vineyard, Rosé (mainly Dornfelder grapes) £6.75 (11%)

Wickham Vineyard, Row Ash Red (mainly Triomphe d'Alsace) £8.99 (11%)

Wissett Wines, Noah's Flood £6.99 (10.5%)

And from Bookers Vineyard

Pinot Gris 2005 £7.95 from Virgin Wines Online (10.5%)

Pinot Gris 2006 £7.95 (10%) from the following:

Burdfields Country Market, 64 High Street, Mill Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex tel 01403-784445

Chadwick Family Emporium, 51 High Street, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire tel 01257 421137

The Farmer's Cart, Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe, York, Yorkshire, Y032 9ST tel 01904-499183

Le Grand Fromage, 8 East Street, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex tel 01273-440337

Highdown Wines at Highdown Vineyard, Littlehampton Road, Ferring, West Sussex tel 01903-500663

Middle Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex tel 01323-811411

Old Barn Nurseries, Dialpost, Horsham, West Sussex,
tel 01403-710000

Quaff Fine Wine Merchant Limited, 139/141 Portland Road, Hove, East Sussex tel 01273-820320

The Royal Oak, The Street, Poynings, East Sussex
tel 01273-857389

South Downs Cellars, 100 High Street, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex tel 01273-833830

Sussex and the City, 12c Meeting House Lane, Brighton, East Sussex tel 01273-747769

Taylor's Restaurant, 2 Church Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex tel 01444-233311

Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill Road, Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex tel 01342-718472