We first visited Ambriel on one of those glorious May days when spring flirts with summer, warm gentle breezes are heady with new-mown grass and spring blossom, and the English dare to dream that this glorious cloudless sky and hazy golden light might magically last forever. The sunny, south-facing vineyards are planted entirely to the champagne grape varieties: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Yet, while Ambriel’s wines have all the classic style and substance of their French counterparts, they are also emphatically, unapologetically, dare I say it almost nostalgically, English: all strawberries and cream, succulent orchard fruit and heady with scent - a garden party in a glass.
Small in scale, high in ambition, Ambriel sets the quality bar high. Its four-strong range spans a variety of styles: the Classic Cuvée (a Brut NV blend of the three champagne varieties), a Blanc de Blancs, Rosé and a slightly sweeter Demi-Sec (‘English Reserve’), however the wines share a clear DNA with their combination of succulent orchard fruit/berry characters, fine persistent bubbles, biscuity autolytics and vivid acidities, softened by extended ageing.