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Nyetimber Manor is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was once home to Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII. Nearly 1,000 years later it is producing one of the finest sparkling wines in the world. It was purchased by Stuart and Sandy Moss in 1986, who were convinced that the gently undulating south-facing slopes with well-drained, Greensand soils would be ideal for production of high quality grapes for making sparkling wines. They planted 20 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and produced their first wine, a Blanc de Blancs, in 1992. In 1993 they made their first release of Classic Cuvée which is a Champagne-style Chardonnay/Pinot blend. Tillington is a plot with vines planted in 2006 and 2007, sharing similar soil (greensand, not chalk, but like this drains well and heats up quickly so helping with ripening) to other sites they own. Nyetimber produces what is undoubtedly the best sparkling wine in the country. The French were harder to convince until 1997 when in a blind tasting Nyetimber's 1992 Blanc de Blancs caused a debate as to which area of France it came from. Nyetimber wines have since won rave-reviews and International medals and, have also won the admiration of members of the Royal Family and various Heads of State. Nyetimber is now owned by entrepreneurial "flying Dutchman" Eric Heerema.
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A blend of 51% Pinot Noir, 13% Pinot Meunier and 36 %Chardonnay, the 2010 for me really marks a coming of age for Canadian winemaker Cherie Spriggs. Characteristic Nyetimber power and complexity are matched by a real purity and finesse, with notes of pit cherry, almond and patisserie harmoniously entwined with crisp citric acidity and a well-integrated 10 grams of residual sugar. Bravo Nyetimber! Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer
Nyetimber's history has been colourful, its vinous ownership having passed from the American Stuart Moss, via the flamboyant pop impresario Andy Hill to the Dutch entrepreneur Eric Heerema. In the more distant past its decorative Manor House was built by Henry VIII for Anne of Cleves, although she never actually took ownership, thanks, famously, to Holbein's pictorial exaggeration of her charms. The far more charming Cherie Spriggs is now firmly at the helm making the wines at Nyetimber and the 2007 is one of the first wines that she has supervised from start to finish... A great success all round; Aromas of nectarine, bergamot and sourdough lead onto a poised and harmoniously balanced palate, with scant evidence of the slightly grassy notes that one sometimes associates with English sparklers. Extended ageing has added a pleasing biscuit complexity and the finish is both refreshing and powerful. Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer