100% Pinot Nero. 6 years on lees.
This is brilliant. Beautifully fragrant, with super-ripe strawberry and golden stone fruits mixing with zesty candied grapefruit and papaya. It’s so clear and precise for a blanc de noirs, with no weightiness or toughness. Instead a spot of Pinot savour comes in the form of captivating, subtle complexities of smoky peppercorns, asian herbs and bitters. Lovely gentle autolytic richness. Very Ferrari – lots going on but nothing getting in the way of that beautiful fruit. 17.5
75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Disgorged December 2018.
The first vintage of the 1086 Rosé has subtly moved on since release, with deep cherry and red berry fruit mingling with darker flavours of cocoa, cinnamon and old-wood spice. There is a spot of grenadine grip playing on the palate, although it still feels bright and fresh. This is undoubtedly Nyetimber’s ultimate expression of Pinot Noir, gastronomic and expressive, although the blanc from 2010 is another notch up. A little less energy and vibrancy on this showing than when tasted in autumn 2019. Lovely, though, and ready to drink. 17.5
45% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir, 11% Pinot Meunier. Disgorged February 2019.
The second vintage of Nyetimber’s Prestige bottling. These wines are simply blends of the best of a vintage – there’s nothing different done in the winery save for the extra time on lees and cork before release. It’s a refreshing approach, and one that doesn’t try to dazzle with any kind of extroversions concocted in the cellar.
The sensation at this young age is of togetherness and harmony. 2010 is a more ‘classic’ year than the warm 2009, and this wine feels serenely poised between crystal-clear white fruits, subtle berries and slightly pithy, invigorating citrus that really kicks in on the finish, extending the wine into a delicious swirl of nougat, flint and cream pastry. Some refined pineapple ripeness is lurking, too. This is a step up from 2009, mirroring the sheer finesse of the new batch of Classic Cuvée 2010 magnums. Truly exciting. The rare magnums might go higher. 18
2015 base. 62% Chardonnay, 38% Pinot Noir. 11% reserves from 2014, disgorged July 2019.
Red wine addition here is “in the teens”, percentage-wise, leading to quite a deeply-fruited style that represents a bit of a gear change from the calling-card style of pale, delicate Pinot Noir-led Rosés that have become England’s speciality. The high Chardonnay percentage is quite unusual in that context, although it is the Pinot fruit that hits you first with a good whack of poached strawberries and cherries. Behind it there’s sweet red apple and pear, framed by a gentle shortcake richness. With the slightly deeper style comes a touch of savour and spice, tomato and pepper, but the palate is clean and clear, drawn out very elegantly by Chardonnay line and perfectly-judged dosage. 16.5
65% Xarel-lo, 35% Macabeo. A deep, sinewy balance between ripe citrus, lime cordial and deep, baked fruits shot through with a vibrant streak of acidity and a creamy length. I was surprised to find it slightly darker-toned than III Lustros on the day, although there is a delicious persistence and no lack on finesse on the palate. I wouldn’t keep this any longer, though. 16.5
Blanc de Noirs 2010 was by some distance the best bottle I have ever tried of this cuvée. Ripe, developed flavours of frangipane and stone fruit pastries, apple compôte and apricot. Not massively complex but harmonious. Shows what these wines can do if they improve their consistency with bottle and cork problems.
Date Tasted : 07/02/2020
2010 Vintage Brut* (65% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir, 17% Pinot Meunier) is a more serious affair, offering some evolution – but perhaps not as much as you’d think. Based on this bottle it is not developing too fast, which is a good sign. There’s pithy, bright lemon and more of that wild apple, with lovely richer almond and brioche as well as a certain floral Chardonnay prettiness. This feels drier, more savoury and measured on the palate than the NV. Tightly-knit with some real length.
Date Tasted : 13/09/2019
75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Again, this feels as if the Rosé MV has been taken to another level of refinement and detail – gone is the friendly poached strawberry in centre stage, replaced with subtle sweet red fruits that leap-frog back and forth with layers of darker cherry and spiced pomegranate flavours. There’s more headiness and immediacy of flavour here than in the blanc, with candied blood orange and flecks of sage and bitters that add rather than detract here. That interior freshness is present, as is the meticulously wrapped acidity and delicious, subtle pasty richness. The blanc may outrun this, but for now this is one of England’s finest.
Date Tasted : 04/09/2019
Made at Ridgeview (as were all the wines before 2013). This was disgorged in 2014 and has found a lovely balance of ageing characters between the texture of lees-ageing and the richness of cork. Dried apple and quince tatin with subtle candied nuts ride an absolutely gorgeously lithe, silky mousse, all delivered with a gentle smile thanks to a dosage which, although a little higher than is used today at 9.4 g/l, is surely part of this wine’s successful journey post-disgorgement. It doesn’t quite have the dimensionality of the later wines in terms of flavour, but it is a proper, delicious maturing Blanc de Blancs.
Date Tasted : 11/11/2019
An extremely limited run was kept back from this vintage; more will be kept back in future. It does make you wonder about untapped potential in English Sparkling Wine when you see what top examples can do with serious lees-ageing times! Aromatic pear and bright quince jump out with beautiful clarity, enlivened with candied nuts, buttery tatin and these extra nuances of dried lime, maple and even creamy fudge that play intriguingly around the edges. The focus on fruit and length is still there at its heart, though, riding on a pristine, cool wave of flavour that just keeps going and going. One of England’s finest wines
Date Tasted : 11/11/2019