Nyetimber - The finest sparkling wine in the land..?
Who: Nyetimber was founded in 1988 by an American couple, Stuart and Sandy Moss who had purchased the estate a few years prior. From their first release in 1992 until 2007 they worked with the Champenois winemaker Jean-Manuel Jacquinot. The estate was then purchased by a Dutchman and heir to a shipping business fortune, Eric Heerema, in 2006. Under his leadership, the wines are now produced by Canadian husband and wife (both winemakers) Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix.
What: From their inception in the early 1990s and the creation of some seriously great wines (namely the 1992 Blanc de Blancs and 1993 Classic Cuvée), Nyetimber has been a leader in the British wine scene. The Moss' had the foresight to focus on sparkling wine and planted only Champagne varietals (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). Thanks to this, the estate now boasts the oldest Chardonnay plantings in the country. Eric was able to take what they had built and really take it to the next level; increasing their vineyard holdings to 150 hectares (from 16) over eight sites with a variance of terroir, as well as building a gorgeous, state-of-the-art winery.
Why I love it: English sparkling wine would not be what it is today without Nyetimber. Their Classic Cuvée was first released in 1993 and is now their flagship wine - the true image of what a great bottle of Nyetimber is. This wine is predominantly made from Chardonnay, which offers delicacy and finesse and is then aged for a minimum of three years which gives this wine its distinctive aromas of toast and spice. If you have yet to dip a toe into the fabulous world of English wine, I highly recommend you kick off proceedings by popping a bottle of Nyetimber.