West Sussex, England
Nyetimber is based 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 Nyetimber’s 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. Nyetimber’s 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.
Nyetimber was the first producer to make English sparkling wine exclusively from the ‘Champagne varieties’: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Their flagship, the Classic Cuvée, was moved to a multi-vintage blend in 2016 and is aged for more than three years on lees. It shows spicy and toasty aromas and a wonderful development on the nose. The palate is elegant and complex, with aromas of honey, almond and pastry. Nyetimber provides a code on the back label of each bottle, entering this code on their website will provide a precise chronology of each bottle from the moment it was bottled to when it was riddled and disgorged.
The Blanc de Blancs went through full malolactic fermentation, which has given the wine a subtle richness of character. It shows a great combination of floral and citrus notes with deeper notes of pastry and brioche. The Rosé pairs well with food and has a delicate nose of anise, redcurrants, raspberries and cherries. The newly renamed ‘Cuvée Chérie’ Demi-Sec, which is a nod to winemaker Cherie Spriggs, adds a unique element to their portfolio, a wonderful accompaniment to creamy desserts or afternoon tea. The ‘Tillington’ is from a single vineyard located in the middle of the South Downs National Park. The plot’s south-facing aspect, natural fertility and drainage helped produced grapes of exceptional quality. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it spent three years on the lees, creating flavours of toast and vanilla to complement the crisp citrus aromatics. The 2013 vintage recently won a gold medal at the 2020 IWC.
In 2018, to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, Nyetimber also launched two Prestige Cuvées, a white and a rosé. These are named ‘1086’ after the Estate’s first mention in the Domesday book and have been ten years in the making. Immediately excelling in blind tastings and receiving lavish critical praise, they have cemented Nyetimber’s place as a leader in the world of sparkling wine.