In a nutshell: A wonderfully elegant, standard bearing English sparkling wine.
The lowdown: Nyetimber are one of those English wineries with enough reserve wines under their belt to produce a consistent non-vintage cuvée with a defined house style in the manner of the Grand Marque Champagne houses. Aged for more than three years on its lees this is toasty and spicy with fine bubbles and a complex aroma. The flavours that come through are of honey, almonds, pastry and baked apples.
When to drink: A refined English sparkler with a great combination of intensity, delicacy and length.
Nyetimber is based in West Chiltington in the heart of West Sussex, on what is regarded as a perfect site for the production of sparkling wine. The estate was established in 1988, with just over 14 hectares planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Ever increasing demand for Nyetimbers sparkling wines led to considerable vineyard expansion from 2006 onwards. Nyetimber now has several carefully selected vineyards across Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, with a total of 160 hectares under vine.
The estate is owned by Dutchman Eric Hereema who, alongside winemaker Cherie Spriggs, has installed an impressive cellar. All their grapes are estate-grown and pressed parcel by parcel by a Magnum press imported from Épernay in Champagne. Nyetimbers vineyard holdings are planted mostly over limestone, which is favoured for its good drainage and low vigour. The vines are rigorously managed to ensure excellent flavour concentration and de-leafing is carried out to maximise the exposure of the grapes to sunlight. Cherie Spriggs won the IWC sparkling Winemaker of the Year in 2018. She is the first winemaker outside of Champagne and the first woman to achieve this impressive accolade.