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Wine Reviews

Best Sparkling Wines for Wine Buyers 2024 As Per London Wine Competition

An Expert Selection from the 2024 London Wine Competition: Unveiling the Best Sparkling Wines for Connoisseurs and Retailers

As sparkling wines continue their upward sales trajectory, sommeliers and wine buyers must keep abreast of new and superlative market players. We list the top eight sparkling wines—encompassing Champagne, the UK, and Moldova—based on expert assessments during the 2024 London Wine Competition.

There’s a surge occurring in sparkling wine popularity, particularly in the US, Germany, and the UK. This trend was clear during the 2024 London Wine Competition, judged by an impressive panel of sommeliers and wine buyers, including many Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers.  

Producers and regions worldwide are capitalizing on this trend, with retailers expanding their sparkling wine selections to include a variety of styles beyond the main categories, such as crémant and English sparkling wines. Sainsbury's and Waitrose, for instance, have seen significant growth in these categories, reflecting consumer shifts towards more affordable yet quality alternatives to Champagne. 

The gold medal winners at the competition then provide a window into what sparkling wines you should buy now. We list the top eight sparkling wine bottles below.  

Recent Sparkling Wine Trends

This category experienced double-digit growth between 2020 and today, while still wine consumption declined. The shift in consumer habits now includes regular consumption of sparkling wine, with 72 percent of people drinking it at least monthly by 2022, up from 56 percent in 2019. 

Sparkling wine's popularity is boosted by its use in cocktails and lower-alcohol beverages like spritzes, aligning with a global preference for higher-acid, lower-alcohol wines. It’s a critical category for the on-trade. Sparkling wine’s diversity is expanding with different styles, such as force-carbonated and ancient method/pét-nat wines. By 2026, the U.S. is expected to account for nearly 15 percent of global sparkling wine sales by value. 

Champagne and Prosecco dominate the market, but Cava and UK sparklers are rapidly growing. In fact, a UK sparkling wine—the Classic Cuvee from Lympstone Manor Estate—won Best in Show and matched Angel Champagne Brut Vintage 2017, both garnering 92 points. Both wines are classic blends of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  

Looking ahead, key trends include the rising popularity of rosé Champagne and extra brut styles, driven by evolving tastes and climate change realities. Innovations in sparkling wine production, such as lightly sparkling 'needle' wines from Perelada, and a continued emphasis on organic and low-alcohol alternatives, are expected to shape the market. Sparkling wines are poised to outperform still wines, reflecting their enduring appeal and adaptability in a changing market landscape. 

The Top Eight Sparkling Wines for 2024 

1. 2020 Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvee, 92 points: Attractive tertiary, toasty aromas. The acidity lends structure to the palate. Flavors of nuts, toast, citrus, and apple. An elegant wine with good length.

Image: Lympstone Manor Estate Classic Cuvee

2. 2007 Angel Brut Champagne, 92 points: A creamy nose leads to flavors of biscuit, vanilla, breadcrumbs, yeast, toasted peanuts, red apples, and citrus. Crisp wine with a long finish.

Image:  Angel Brut Champagne

3. 2022 Dacastello Vini Le Clivie, 91 points: Intense fruit on the nose. On the palate, discover acacia, honey, stone fruit, and tangerine flavors typical to Glera, with a hint of spice and toasty notes. Rich flavors and textures featuring well-balanced acidity. 

Image: Dacastello Vini Le Clivie

4. 2018 Silverhand Blanc de Blancs, 90 points: This UK sparkler has rich aromas of lemon curd and brioche compliment hints of white cherry and toasty oak. On the palate, detect grapefruit and lemon zest balanced by medium acidity.

Image: Silverhand Blanc de Blancs

5. 2020 Pattingham Vineyard Sparkling White Wine, 90 points:  A floral nose has a hint of pear drop. Ripe red fruit and toast on the rich palate of this UK wine.

Image: Pattingham Vineyard Sparkling White Wine

6. Della Vite Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G (NV), 90 points: On the nose, a blend of fruity, floral, and yeast aromas with good intensity. The palate dances with green apple skin and citrus notes, fresh and pleasant with a great finish and complexity. 

Image: Della Vite Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G

7. 2015 Denbies Wine Estate Ltd. Cubitt Blanc de Noir, 90 points: The deep straw color invites inhaling this wine’s buttery notes with a hint of honeyed apple. Nutty and toasty on the palate with lemon notes: a hint of cream and butter. A dry, rich white wine with good texture and finish. 

Image: Cubitt Blanc de Noir

8. 2013 Champagne Besserat De Bellefon, 89 points: Pronounced aroma of brioche, dry apricot, almond and toast. Medium-bodied dry wine with a medium finish.

Image: Champagne Besserat De Bellefon

These top-rated sparkling wines showcase the diversity and quality that define the category today. From classic Champagne to innovative UK sparklers and vibrant Prosecco, these bottles are must-haves for wine buyers in 2024.

Call for domestic and international submission is now open for London Wine Competition. Enter your wines before 31 August 2024 to get super early bird pricing. Register now and ship later to save.

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