Happy St George’s day everyone. Time to celebrate with a glass of Nyetimber, England’s finest wine.
Nyetimber comes from a vineyard in West Sussex. It was planted with Champagne varieties and obsessively cared for, and has gone from strength to strength.
So what’s it like. I had a Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2000, a classic Champagne blend. It’s a rich lemon-gold colour, with a beautiful mousse. It smells of brioche, with lemon curd on toast.
It’s off dry, with a medium acidity and alcohol. It tastes heavenly. Each mouthful releases angels to dance on your tongue. OK, that might be a little florid, but the mousse is smooth and satisfying, the brioche and lemons carry through with a yeasty length. It’s worryingly more-ish.
Nyetimber isn’t cheap, but it compares well with an NV Grande Marque Champagne, when you can get hold of it. BBR carry it, as do Waitrose.
The vineyard was recently bought by a Dutch investor, who liked the wine so much he bought the company. With UK temperatures rising by around 3 degrees Celsius each decade, and increasingly drier summers, wine production in England looks set to have a sunny future.