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Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2010
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Nyetimber estate counts three major landmarks in its history. Its earliest beginnings saw it first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. Then there was the planting of the first vines, almost exactly 900 years later. Most recently, there was the decision in 2006 that Nyetimber wines deserved an audience on the world stage.
Nyetimber is in the fortunate position to own one hundred percent of their vineyards and all of the wines are produced from the 170 hectares they have planted at the best sites in West Sussex and Hampshire. Nyetimber’s vineyards were the first to be devoted exclusively to the holy trinity of Champagne grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
A millennium might have passed since their name was coined as 'Nitimbreha', likely referring to a newly timbered house or perhaps a small timber plantation. But the most significant developments for this House have taken place in a single decade with their winemaking team among the most proficient in the world.
Southern England is perfect for the production of sparkling wine. The chalk seam that supplies Champagne grapes with the perfect green sand and chalky soil to flourish is the very same that runs under the lee of the South Downs. This is where, sheltered from the coastal winds, our vines are planted across eight separate sites.
The climate here allows for the slow ripening of the grapes, allowing Nyetimber to achieve the optimum level of acidity for the wine, as well as the complexity and finesse that they strive for.
Unlike most other Houses, Nyetimber uses only their own grapes from their own vineyards. Prior to harvest, the grapes are tasted to ensure the best flavor development before picking. And if they aren’t up to standard? They simply won’t use them.
Nyetimber's winemaker, Cherie Spriggs, is central to every decision that gets made. She assesses each and every handpicked vineyard individually. This means choosing the optimal time to harvest the grapes, and supervising their gentle pressing and eventual vinification in stainless steel tanks. This level of intimacy allows them to make the most informed blending decisions the following spring.
Nyetimber crafts all of their wines according to the traditional method, aging them for extended periods of time and giving the bottles sufficient post-disgorgement time before release. Since each and every decision along the way has an impact on the eventual flavor of the wines, they are careful to do everything themselves, in the way they believe it should be done.
The limestone soils of England’s southern end have proven ideal for the production of sparkling wine. While it might seem too damp and cold for grape growing, recent warm summers and the onset of global warming signify great future growth for the British wine industry.
Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.