Nyetimber brut Classic Cuvee
Sussex, English Sparkling Wine
Nyetimber's winemaker, Cherie Spriggs, is the first person ever outside of the Champagne region to win the coveted title of «Sparkling Winemaker of the Year». The nose reveals delicate citrus nuances, golden apples, roasted brioche, almonds and honey aromas, all indicating long yeast aging. On the palate, richness, freshness and elegance are unified. The Classic Cuvée is distinguished by its fine perlage, while revealing intense and delicate aromas of apples, apricots, honey almonds and confectionary. A fascinating sparkling wine at eye level with the finest French ideals.
|Origin:||United Kingdom / West Sussex|
|Grape variety:||Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Pinot meunier|
|Ripening potential:||10 to 12 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro pastries, Apéro riche, Whitefish fillets à la meunière, Fresh water fish with cream sauce|
|Vinification:||bottle fermentation, fermentation in steel tank|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, in small boxes|
|Maturation:||on the yeast, long cultivation|
|Maturation duration:||36 months|
For the last quarter-century, England has played a very special role in the world of wines – an exotic in moist and chilly northern Europe.
When you think of England you might think of umbrellas, charm, and bowler hats. Specifically umbrellas, since British weather is famously rainy. Few people know that winegrowing in England is historically documented back to the 7th century. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the climate is mild enough for certain types of grapes to grow and fully ripen. The change in climate during recent decades has brought some advantages to English winemakers, improving growth conditions and encouraging many to try their luck at winegrowing.
Nyetimber was founded as a winery in 1988. However, the estate is much older; it was first mentioned in the Domesday Book (a famous land registry) in 1086. Embedded in the peaceful green landscape of West Sussex, with its carefully restored medieval buildings and houses, Nyetimber is a small gem that can transfer us into a far distant era.
Nyetimber was the first winery in England to grow champagne grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, all with the aim of producing the best English sparkling wine through respecting the “méthode traditionnelle”. In the early 1990s, the first bottle left the winery and even beat some champagnes in various competitions.
The winegrowers Cherie Spriggs and her husband Brad Greatrix, both with international experience, have been responsible for all steps of the wine production since 2007. 170 hectares of grapes grow on eight different south-facing sites in Sussex and Hampshire on precious chalk soil similar to that found in the Champagne. Ever since the couple arrived at Nyetimber, they have worked to improve production processes. The inventory of reserve wines was and will be increased on a regular basis in order to create a non-vintage Classic Cuvée according to the Champagne model. At the other end of the production line is the Tillington Single Vineyard, the first English vintage sparkling wine from a single vineyard. A Rosé Non-Vintage and a Blanc de Blancs that will only be bottled during the best Chardonnay years, supplement this extraordinary sparkling wine experience.
Learn more about Nyetimber in this video: Master Class Series: Brad Greatrix (Winemaker) and Marc Almert (Chef Sommelier Baur au Lac and Baur au Lac Vins and ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019)
King or beggar?
Hardly any variety of vine shows such a broad spectrum of quality as the Chardonnay. Its wines range from faceless neutrality to breath-taking class. It is an extremely low-maintenance vine, which explains why it is grown around the world – even in places where it probably should not be. The aromas of the Chardonnay variety are not very pronounced: a bit of green apple, a little hazelnut; in warmer latitudes, also melon and exotic fruits. The wines are often defined by maturing in casks. They develop more or less subtle notes of butter, toasted bread and vanilla. The grapes achieve their highest expression in their region of origin, Burgundy. Its heart beats in the Côte de Beaune: one might think of the plant growth of Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet. With their finesse and complexity, they can survive for decades. Chardonnay also achieves first class in some Blanc-de-Blancs champagnes. It additionally yields great wines in the Burgundian Chablis, and increasingly in Australia and Chile. A simple rule of thumb for pairing with food: When butter and cream are involved, you cannot go wrong with Chardonnay.
Freshness boost for champagnes
Many fine white hairs on the underside of the leaves give this red grape its name. "Meunier" translates to miller, an allusion to the impression that the plant has been dusted with freshly ground flour. Its main habitat is in Champagne. Alongside Pinot noir and Chardonnay, it forms the third component of the classic champagne cuvée. It contributes fresh acidity and youthful fruit to the sparkling wines. It is only very rarely into champagne by itself, but the few examples are worth tasting. In German, Pinot Meunier is also known as Müllerrebe or misleadingly as Schwarzriesling (black Riesling).
Blueprint of the terroir
No other variety expresses its terroir as precisely as Pinot noir. It is a sensitive, fragile grape. But when it succeeds, it gives the world some of its very greatest wine plants. It especially excels in Burgundy, where it has been cultivated for at least 700 years. Even in the middle ages, it was considered so precious that it was kept separate from other grapes so as to not diminish its value. The finest examples are delicate and fragrant with aromas of cherries and red berries. With maturity, notes of forest floor, leather and truffles enter as well. An irresistible fruity sweetness still shines through, even after several decades. The Pinot noir does well in cool locations: in Switzerland and in Germany, where it is known as Blauburgunder and Spätburgunder respectively; in Alsace and in South Tyrol, in Oregon, New Zealand and Tasmania. Not least, it yields fantastic champagnes. It is a wonderful culinary companion. With its soft tannins and charming bouquet, it meshes with everything, from Güggeli and cheeses to fried fish.