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WEST SUSSEX – 26 October 2020: Temperatures in late September across South East England were warmer than all recent years, helping Nyetimber’s grapes to reach optimum ripeness earlier. Across Europe, September’s average temperatures were around 0.2 degrees celsius warmer than the previous warmest September on record in 2018. As a result of the good weather, this year saw the second earliest start date for Nyetimber’s harvest after 2018.
Overall growing conditions this year generally favoured Pinot Noir, but harvest also saw some excellent parcels of Chardonnay. Along with Pinot Meunier, these are the three celebrated grape varieties exclusively grown by Nyetimber, England’s pre-eminent sparkling wine producer.
Besides overcoming the challenges of ensuring an appropriately socially distanced harvest by 300 hand pickers, Nyetimber also had to contend with a late spring frost in May which caused mixed ripeness in certain blocks of grapes. Careful selection by the skilled pickers allowed only the best bunches to be selected for pressing. Quality over quantity is of paramount importance for all Nyetimber wines.
It took 13 days to harvest a record 260 hectares (640 acres) of Nyetimber estate-owned vineyards in West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. This represents the largest area of harvested vines of any English Sparkling Wine producer and is expected to yield one million bottles.
“Whilst 2020 has certainly had its challenges, we were really pleased with the results of our first socially-distanced harvest, yielding grapes with very good ripeness, nice sugar levels and balanced acidity,” said Cherie Spriggs, Head Winemaker at Nyetimber. “The average temperature in late September was warmer than all recent vintages, which allowed the grapes to reach their optimum ripeness earlier. This bodes well for what should be a great vintage.”
Nyetimber, and the English Sparkling Wine industry in general, continues to be a UK success story. Despite the challenges faced by Covid, the British consumer continues to be discerning about quality and willing to invest in great wines, including Nyetimber, for enjoyment at home. Total production of English Sparking Wine increased from 5.9 million bottles in 2017 to 10.5 million bottles in 2019. In terms of sales, 5.5 million bottles were sold in 2019, an increase of 70% over the prior year – and international sales accounted for 10% of this. The total area under vine in the UK now stands at 3,579 hectares, up 83% since 2015. Nyetimber expects to sell two million bottles a year by 2030.
Nyetimber really is the Krug of England. Or should we say that Krug is the Nyetimber of Champagne? Either way, I cannot recommend this delicious, flag-bearing English sparkling wine highly enough. The quality Nyetimber is achieving is almost too good, and I mean that quite seriously.
“British sparkling wines are currently on everyone’s lips in the international wine world. On average, the climate in Southern England today is like that of Champagne 20 years ago. Decades ago, the first pioneers – including Nyetimber – planted vines there. The soils of the vineyards around Sussex, Kent & Co. also have high lime content, similar to that in Champagne. No wonder that England is currently one of the most dynamic “sparkling” regions in the world.”
“It was a great joy to taste the very first vintage of Nyetimber’s Blanc de Blancs at 23 years of age and I am certain that this epic 2013 will follow in the same footsteps.
Disgorged in November 2018, this wine spent five years on its lees, gathering its skirts, and it is now stepping out onto the catwalk with unwavering confidence. That it already looks so self-assured and delicious is incredible. Knowing that the potential is immense, too, makes this one of the most compelling wines in our country.
The 1992 vintage was the UK’s first fine wine and Nyetimber has rarely released anything other than fine wines, but I hope that we can all sense that this is a reality today rather than a series of lucky one-offs. I hope that restaurant buyers put stock away, too, because there is more to come with this cosmic creation.”
GQ Magazine published an Nyetimber listed as number 1 on the GQ Magazine article entitled ‘What wine to drink at Christmas’. Wine journalist Amy Matthews comments, ‘If you want the best of the best in sparkling wines, you need to be popping a bottle of Nyetimber’
Ehtica Magazine online features Classic Cuvee in an article about the best vegan friendly sparkling wine. ‘The journalist comments, ‘This delicious English sparkling wine can easily rival some of the best French champagne.’
Tom describes Nyetimber as ‘The flagship of the entire English wine industry’, and comments, ‘Biscuit, nutty almond and sweet apple aromas move on to a wonderfully zesty palate, with an infill of pastry and vanilla, but a shimmering brightness to the finish.’
In Time & Leisure Magazine, the journalist describes Nyetimber Rosé MV, ‘Nyetimber’s delicious rosé is the perfect match for Christmas dinner: its body and structure complement white meats perfectly and the red berry characteristics of pinot noir offer a great balance to cranberry sauce.’
Jancis Robinson writes about Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2013: “This all-Chardonnay wine really does taste like a Blanc de Blancs, with marked, though not excessive, acidity and a convincingly delicate texture. A ballerina of a wine with convincing persistence”
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee: “Beloved since the early ’90s when it first smashed experts’ preconceptions that England couldn’t ripen Champagne grapes, Nyetimber’s flagship wine still has it all. Flinty and ethereal on the nose, somewhere between a bitter lemon and a tonic in the mouth with pinprick bubbles releasing a sourdough breadiness, this lingers on for minutes with a savoury hit of salinity.” Sarah Heller MW
“Seeking some English sparkling wine to complement a quintessentially British big day? The name on the grapevine is Nyetimber, an estate with vineyards across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. From the Classic Cuvee for the pre-dinner reception to Cuvee Chérie Demi-Sec to accompany the cake, there’s a sparkler for each stage of the celebration”
Nyetimber 1086 Vintage 2010 – 16.5++/20
“Texture is very important to winemakers Cherie and Brad and they certainly have achieved their ‘seamless’ aim. Nose rather white Burgundian with savour and introspection… Cherie gets grapefruit, nougat and vanilla on the end. Pretty cool and crisp…”
Nyetimber 1086 Rosé 2010 – 17/20
“Quite dark rose pink. Broad and rose-petal lusciousness. Much softer acidity than the white 2010. Round start and then chewy end. Very emphatic – a food wine. Some phenolics certainly evident.”
“Known as one of the finest sparkling wines the world has to offer, Nyetimber is grown and pressed here in our very own British back garden (West Sussex to be precise)… Pale and golden in colour, Nyetimber has a light citrus aroma with floral hints. It also has a delicious flavour reminiscent of toast and vanilla – what’s not to love?