English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber launched the 2009 vintage of its blanc de blancs today.
Head winemaker Cherie Spriggs considers 2009 to be one of the strongest in her nine years at Nyetimber, describing it as a 'textbook year'. 'What it tells us is that we don't need the climate to change in the UK – the weather we get is perfectly suited,' said Spriggs.
Unlike past vintages, a small portion (2.8%) of the 2009 is fermented in new oak to add an element of spice to the wine. In addition, Spriggs has reintroduced malolactic fermentation to the production process – originally used in Nyetimber's early vintages.
That spice from the new oak is barely perceptible, with light citrus and stonefruit on the somewhat closed nose, leading to an altogether more expressive palate, with fresh, zippy apple and citrus at its core. An interesting and balanced wine that will continue to evolve for some time to come.
And there's little doubt about the ability of Nyetimber's blanc de blancs to age. To celebrate the release, Spriggs led guests through a vertical tasting of the winery's blancs de blancs, culminating in the 2009. Of particular note was a 1992, the first wine ever made at Nyetimber. 'That wine started this industry,' said Spriggs of a wine that was showing some development, but nevertheless remains vibrant and fresh.
Also in the vertical were a 1996 and 2003, both in magnum, and a very youthful yet complex 2007.