From Tim Atkin's blog - he didnt seem to like the M&S own-label English Sparkler!!!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Myself and Random Aussie Bloke spent yesterday morning at the Marks and Spencer Autumn Press Tasting at their head office near Paddington, London. It was a great chance for us to try out their range, especially as M&S wines are a bit difficult for me to buy. Their Simply Food store on my local high street has shut in the wake of the credit crunch, and since I've moved offices from Liverpool St. to Fetter Lane, that cut out another 3 M&S outlets that I used to frequent.
All in all, there were 127 wines to sample. Since I only had a couple of hours to get through them (I had to go to work after!), I had to leave some out. I only tried one wine from the Wine Direct (internet shop) table, and I skipped a lot of the Italian, Spanish and lower-end French whites.
To summarize, I was impressed with the South American and South African wines, as well as the Burgundies (both white and red). Most of the Pinot Noir in general was impressive, no matter where it was from. I started to struggle during the reds (both with my palate and the clock) so I didn't spend as much time on the them as I would have liked, so there may not be many mentions there. I've also left out most of the more expensive wines, as they were mostly very good so no surprises there.
- Ridgeview Marksman Brut 2008, Sussex, England. £22.00. Made exclusively for M&S by Ridgeview, who just collected a Decanter trophy for best sparkling wine at the 2010 Decanter World Wine awards. I thought the Marksman was kind of odd though - it tasted like a dry Chardonnay with bubbles in it, making it distinctively un-Champagne-like.