This is a carousel with zoom. Use the thumbnails to navigate, or jump to a slide. Use the zoom button to zoom into a image.

Low stock

Cuvée Reynolds Stone, Breaky Bottom 2010

Sparkling Wine from England
Simply superb English fizz from Peter Hall at Breaky Bottom in Sussex. A blend of 70% chardonnay for elegance and structure, 15% pinot noir for richness and 15% pinot meunier for toasty character. Described by Hugh Johnson as one of the 10 wines in the world to drink in 2021.
Price: £55.00 Bottle
Price: £330.00 Case of 6
Low stock
Code: SG3121

Wine characteristics

  • Sparkling Wine
  • Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 12% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Champagne cork

England

Thanks to a combination of warmer, drier summers, better understanding of soils and micro-climates, and heavy and intelligent investment in vineyards and wineries, English and Welsh wines are now better than ever.

There are now more than 500 vineyards planted totaling over 2,000 hectares, with a 75% increase in the last six years alone. Because of our northerly latitude and maritime island climate, site selection is crucial. Not surprisingly, the majority of vineyards are found in the English southern counties of Sussex, Kent, Gloucester and Hampshire though there are some found as far north as Yorkshire.

Styles of wine

English and Welsh wine producers as a whole continue to make major improvements to their wines, but it is the producers of premium sparkling wines which have received the most accolades in recent years, blazing a trail for the industry as a whole to be given the serious attention it deserves.


Sparkling wine - This is a major growth area for the UK with our climate...
Thanks to a combination of warmer, drier summers, better understanding of soils and micro-climates, and heavy and intelligent investment in vineyards and wineries, English and Welsh wines are now better than ever.

There are now more than 500 vineyards planted totaling over 2,000 hectares, with a 75% increase in the last six years alone. Because of our northerly latitude and maritime island climate, site selection is crucial. Not surprisingly, the majority of vineyards are found in the English southern counties of Sussex, Kent, Gloucester and Hampshire though there are some found as far north as Yorkshire.

Styles of wine

English and Welsh wine producers as a whole continue to make major improvements to their wines, but it is the producers of premium sparkling wines which have received the most accolades in recent years, blazing a trail for the industry as a whole to be given the serious attention it deserves.


Sparkling wine - This is a major growth area for the UK with our climate well-suited to the production of sparkling wine which accounts for 66% of total output. But it is the premium, bottle-fermented wines that have made the rest of the world sit up and take notice. Sussex and the South Downs are perfect for growing the classic mix of Champagne grapes, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The South Downs are actually on the same geological formation (limestone on top of a sandstone belt) that continues down through the east of France to Champagne. However, this type of soil is not everything and many vines for top bubbly made over here are grown on very different, often clay-based soils quite different from the Champagne-like calcareous formation, and our climatic conditions seem to be just as important, if not more so.

The best sparkling wines give the Champenois a good run for their money and are better than many Champagnes. We currently buy top-quality premium sparklers from Nyetimber in West Sussex, who with 400 acres are the largest producer of the style in the UK, and Ridgeview in Ditchling Common, Sussex.

Dry white - Reflecting changing tastes, wines made here are increasingly made on the drier side, helped along by warmer summers and improved techniques in vineyard and winery. Still dry white wines show a natural acidity and crispness in their youth. They tend to have a certain nettley, hedgerow freshness about them that is peculiarly English and most attractive. Such wines now represent 24% of all English wine production, Still

Rosé & red - This is style that is also increasing in popularity and one at which the UK can excel, rosé again shows well in its youth, often with attractive strawberry aromas and just a hint of sweetness to balance out the acidity. Reds are a minority as they tend to sometimes lack the necessary ripeness to allow them to show at their best unless our summer and autumn weather is particularly benign. Advances are being made here too though, as producers experiment with different varieties and vineyard sites to find which ripen best where. Front-runners are dornfelder, rondo and pinot noir but at the moment, none has impressed sufficiently and prices are rather high so we have not yet selected any to offer to members.

Wine labelling - English and Welsh wines are produced and labelled under a Quality Wine Scheme which was established in 1992. They are classified in ascending order as table wine, regional wine or quality wine.

Grape guide

Faced with a blank canvas, what vines should a grower on these islands plant? Many of the varieties planted have German origins, partly because it was originally German-trained winemakers who helped UK growers with advice and expertise. It was also felt that these varieties would have better success in such a northerly latitude and, in the 1970s, when there was a resurgence of wine growing in this country, German wines were in their heyday. It is vital to choose early-ripening varieties with good resistance to fungal disease; many of those that have had success are in fact hybrids, again developed in Germany.

Today, there is a patchwork of a multitude of different varieties found in the vineyards of England and Wales. With one or two notable exceptions, these are generally blended together to create wines with a real point of interest and difference from those found elsewhere in Europe. As many of the grapes will be unfamiliar to members and because they rarely appear on their own, so may be difficult to get to know, we provide the principal characteristics below.

More recently, and line with the success of sparkling wines on these shores, pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier have been planted extensively and continue to be so.
Read more

Breaky Bottom

Peter Hall is one of the true originals of English viticulture and winemaking, and his winery, Breaky Bottom, is surely one of, if not the most beautiful, in the UK. First planted in 1973 in a tiny little valley tucked away from the brutal winds, just north-east of Brighton, Peter’s estate is tiny - a mere 2.4hectares (6 acres) of vines. Yet great things come in small packages. Championing the seyval blanc grape, Peter produced still wines for over 20 years (we sold his 1989, ’90 and ’92 seyval blanc) but he always felt seyval would make wonderful sparkling wines. And he was right.

In 1995 he produced his first 100% seyval blanc sparkling wine, named ‘Millennium Cuvée Maman Mercier’, dedicated to his mother. He names all of his cuvées after a friend or relative, from his Cuvée Jack Pike 2015 Seyval Blanc named after a good friend who helped him plant his first vines in 1974, to Cuvée Reynolds Stone, the famous wood engraver and letter cutter who was not only the designer of the original Breaky Bottom label, but also designed The Wine Society’s old logo (the twirls and twists at the end of letters are a giveaway). This may all make Peter sound like a bit of a romantic, and his idyllic house and nomad-esque existence may support this, but he listens to his head as well as his heart, with a dedication to vintage wine and long ageing on the lees for all of his wines for a minimum of five years. This shows that he’s a man of patience as well as love, giving all of his wines the...
Peter Hall is one of the true originals of English viticulture and winemaking, and his winery, Breaky Bottom, is surely one of, if not the most beautiful, in the UK. First planted in 1973 in a tiny little valley tucked away from the brutal winds, just north-east of Brighton, Peter’s estate is tiny - a mere 2.4hectares (6 acres) of vines. Yet great things come in small packages. Championing the seyval blanc grape, Peter produced still wines for over 20 years (we sold his 1989, ’90 and ’92 seyval blanc) but he always felt seyval would make wonderful sparkling wines. And he was right.

In 1995 he produced his first 100% seyval blanc sparkling wine, named ‘Millennium Cuvée Maman Mercier’, dedicated to his mother. He names all of his cuvées after a friend or relative, from his Cuvée Jack Pike 2015 Seyval Blanc named after a good friend who helped him plant his first vines in 1974, to Cuvée Reynolds Stone, the famous wood engraver and letter cutter who was not only the designer of the original Breaky Bottom label, but also designed The Wine Society’s old logo (the twirls and twists at the end of letters are a giveaway). This may all make Peter sound like a bit of a romantic, and his idyllic house and nomad-esque existence may support this, but he listens to his head as well as his heart, with a dedication to vintage wine and long ageing on the lees for all of his wines for a minimum of five years. This shows that he’s a man of patience as well as love, giving all of his wines the time they need to become works of art, not just a faceless factory churning out product for popping and pouring.

Although still desperately fond of seyval blanc, Peter does produce sparkling wine from the three classic Champagne varieties chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, with fabulous results. His recent haul of medals at the Wine GB Tastings in 2020 are testament to this. But nature is a cruel beast and a congratulatory pat-on-the-back is often followed by a smack on the head, with the devastating frosts of May 2020 practically wiping out Peter’s entire crop.
But soldier on he will, and he'll continue to produce wines of brightness, charm and vigour – just like the man himself. I encourage you all to explore the world of Breaky Bottom.
Read more

England Vintage 2010

A surprisingly good year after a warm dry spring became a wet but ultimately warm summer. Fruit ripened reasonably well in the end with good sugar levels, and flavours and aromatics were good across the board. It was a good year for sparkling producers as the high acidity of early picking is perfectly acceptable for such winemaking and it was in balance with high sugar levels. Many such wines, particularly those made with a predominance of chardonnay, are keepers.
2010 vintage reviews

Recommended for you

Back to top