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
76% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay. Disgorged July 2017.
Just 10,000 bottles are produced. Just like the 2013 Blanc de Blancs, this is suddenly hitting its stride. Still terrifically fresh, with pure berries, aromatic pear and nice juicy yellow fruits that are just starting be joined with browned pastry and caramel apples. It hints at some meaty, peppery Pinot Noir evolution but stays delicate and linear. The flavour is all about Pinot, but it is pulled tight thanks to Chardonnay and the 2013 vintage. Drinking well now, but another year or two will only improve it. 17.5
100% Chardonnay, disgorged June 2018.
This is the first vintage of Nyetimber to include grapes grown on chalk. This vintage is waking up now, having taken on some substance post-disgorgement. The delicacy of texture really stands out, a satined ripple of yellow apple and magnolia, white peach and lemon syrup. What seems new is a tiny touch of pale nougat richness that warms it up just the right amount. There’s a playful extra snap of acidity on the finish – a last word from the 2013 vintage. 17
2010 base. 51% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Meunier. Disgorged Feb 2017.
Part of a special release planned for 2020. Astronomical quality. This is at a perfect stage, where the freshness of the sweet yellow fruit, red apple skin and starfruit is held in suspension in magnum, ducking and diving in-between toast and flint, fresh white butter and lime oil, oyster shell and caramel. Moving in the glass all the time, this is supremely fine and long, the flavours teased out in a perfect progression. Surely one of the top wines in the country. 18
2014 base. 58% Chardonnay, 31% Pinot Noir, 11% Pinot Meunier. Disgorged November 2019. 30% reserves dating back to 2008.
Huge contrast with the newer 75cl release here, this is coiled up and spring-loaded but still waiting for its moment. The fruit is slightly more golden in tone compared to the 2015 base, showing the promise of generosity and even some tropical flourishes tempered by flint and smoke. With its nervy reductive energy it is just a baby, and quite difficult to judge. It needs leaving alone for now (or opening a good hour before drinking). 17
2015 base. 62% Chardonnay, 30 % Pinot Noir, 8 % Pinot Meunier. Disgorged August 2019. 20% reserves dating back to 2009.
This cuvée continues to open out extremely attractively, now showing a little post-disgorgement richness of bakewell tart (with almonds nicely toasted on top) alongside raspberry and pear pastries. The palate is bright but not at all austere now, even showing a touch of roundness before tapering off with a friendly snap of acidity. This is even a little more developed in flavour profile than I was expecting, but none the worse for it at all. Lovely. 16.5
2007 base. 1/3 each Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, vinified in barrels averaging 15 years of age. Disgorgement 2014 or 15 here.
You notice some butterscotch upfront, but then it melts into caramelised apple tart and dried peach. Freshness is still there with some juicy papaya and a little squish of citrus, whilst some creamy milk chocolate and a developed layer of polished wood and peppery spice add up to a lovely set of flavours. 07 (and the Chardonnay) keep some keenness and bite on the palate, although it is quite plush and up-front in terms of shape. Meunier feels like it is in charge! Billecart really do have a way with it. You feel the connection with the NV Brut Reserve. 16.5
2010 base. 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier. 40% reserve wine addition. Disgorged in 2017.
In a very tasty place. Golden fruit very much on song, with rich apricot pastries, mango and yellow apple. Chardonnay lemon oil runs through, offering a nice little kick in the tail. Posh salted butter richness too, with maturity coming on now in dried pineapple and toasty coffee beans. The palate is quite front-loaded, a friendly hug of a champagne, plush but with a gentle, slightly soft-focus kind of energy. I don’t think it will the longest-lived CH, at least not in 75cl, but it has life ahead of it yet! Great stuff. 17.5