Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006 (England)
12%, Cork, £40
Perhaps the only criticism that can be levelled at English sparkling wine is that, given their quality and price expectations, so many examples are released too young and with less time on lees than their equivalent premium sparkling counterparts. Indeed, even many top Australian sparkling wines spend more time on lees than the 2 years this wine does.
Given the rampant demand for the best wines, and the youth of the wineries, we aren’t going to see this change in the near future either, with early releases and limited lees ageing still the norm.
As a broad generalisation that results in leaner and less complex wines, a factor compounded by the higher levels of natural acidity of England’s cooler, more northerly vineyards.
Still, if the sparklings are as perfectly well structured and balanced as this one, then the English sparkling future is assured – late disgorged or not.
Light yellow in colour, the nose looks to be Pinot dominant and classically so. It’s quite perfumed even, with great delineation and delicacy. Delicious smelling wine! After such an auspicious start the palate is just a little neutral and skinny, all acid and a hint of young, green apple fruit.
I put this wine down and came back to it about half an hour later and noticed just how delectable that acidity is – its really fine and unforced and natural. Very classy. All that is required now is for the palate to fill out and catch up with that structure, for underneath this is very very fine wine.
Good wine with hints of greatness.
Would I buy it? The price is hard to justify but still there is interest here. I wouldn’t buy it but enjoyed drinking it.