NYETIMBER CLASSIC CUVEE
This is the new multi vintage blend from the doyen of English Sparkling wine. One of the few estates to have built up the experience, and importantly, the reserve wines to blend across vintages much like the Champagnois. It remains a classic blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meurnier, with 2011 as the base wine, and a further 4 vintages blended in. It has a pretty, floral nose with lemon zest zing and just a hint of brioche. The palate has a distinctly mineral savoury character. This, combined with the fine mousse and vibrant acidity, creates a very thirst-quenching and refreshing finish. This is more chiselled and refined perhaps than the 2010 release, and is quite the best Nyetimber we have tasted.
At 385 acres Nyetimber is the largest vineyard in the UK and its wine is arguably the most famous. It has grown from an initial 35 acres planted in 1987 to become an award-winning estate producing wines that rival the best of Champagne.
England is fast becoming a rich source of high quality sparkling wines, many of which are making waves on the international scene. The chalky Kimmeridgian soil that crops up in Chablis, Sancerre, and Champagne plunges under the Channel only to resurface on the south coast of England. Grape growers in southern counties like Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall have been making increasingly impressive cuvées using the traditional Champagne varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and the traditional production method (second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on lees). Ripeness is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence in this marginal climate thanks to gradually warming annual temperatures. Producers are also beginning to focus on producing still wines, but for the moment it is the high calibre of sparkling wines that are the standard bearers for the English wine industry. Their zippy acidity, fine mousse, and delicate fruit profiles are a genuinely tempting alternative to Champagne.