The Nyetimber 1968 Routemaster bus pulled up inside Old Spitalfields Market. We were lucky enough to be invited for a Masterclass tasting.
Nyetimber have been producing fine wines on south facing land in Sussex since the late eighties. Several changes of hands and the traditional Champenois method has created the finest English sparkling wine. Nyetimber holds its own in blind tastings and has won many awards next to big name French Champagnes.
From left to right; Classic Cuvée NV, Blanc de Blanc 2009, Rosé and Demi Sec.
The first NV by Nyetimber has only been out for a few weeks(!), previously the CC was from 2010. This is a blend of several parcels; 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. 60% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 10% pinot meunière. 3.5 years secondaryfermentation in bottle and 9.5% grams of sugar. Tasting notes: crisp, biscuity and bready with white stone fruit upfront due to the pinot meunière which balances out the acidity. Fine and persistent mousse.
Blanc de Blanc 2009
My personal favourite! 100% chardonnay with 5 years on the lees which leads to sweeter brioche and caramel with aromas of hazelnut. It has already won many awards since release in February 2016. Using only the very best chardonnay grapes makes for a smoother, more elegant mouthfeel with finer bubbles. This will age brilliantly due to the mineralogy and acidity and keep for 5 years. Robert Parker gave his seal of approval on the 2003 Nyetimber blanc de blanc in magnum!
Made in the assemblage method (red added to white wine rather than skins on) results in a beautiful, clear, garnet jewel colour. The rosé is mostly chardonnay and pinot noir with 2% pinot meunière, a blend of 2/3 2010 and 1/3 2009. This is drier to begin with leading into ripe summer red fruits which gives the classic rosé notes.
Demi Sec, Blanc de Blanc
100% chardonnay with 44 grams sugar. Nyetimber use chardonnay from 2006 to give greater sweetness and complexity as the character and age balance to create a delicate profile. This is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or birthday cake!
Another little Champenois nod is the unique code on the back of each bottle (akin to Krug) which opens up a plethora of information on their website.
If Sir Winston Churchill was alive today he would definitely drink Nyetimber Blanc de Blanc 2009 for breakfast!
Available from Waitrose, small independent wine shops and high end department stores.