Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 1998

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A rare chance to delve into the history of one of England’s most iconic winemakers, this batch of Blanc de Blancs 1998 was discgorged and released to order exclusively for Lay & Wheeler.

The first and most noticeable thing about this wine is the deep golden colour – the wine’s near 20 year maturity showing in this beautifully warming hue.

Onto the nose; rich, unctuous and ripe! Sweet honey, dried apricot with pastry and nut notes.

The palate was still surprisingly crisp and punchy, partnered with a wonderful mixture of stone fruit, baked apple and honey. A slightly savoury, almost figgy character was evident throughout, as the flavor took a nutty biscuit tone on the finish.

The fizz was pronounced and fine initially, but you can’t hang around too long as it tended to dissipate quickly in the glass.

A truly unique wine – a huge talking point at a recent wine evening I presented a bottle at.

What this wine shows is that English Sparkling can age and develop in ways only previously achieved by the established Champagne producers. I can’t wait to see how the 2009, what I feel is Nyetimber’s finest Blanc de Blancs to date, will age over the next 10-15 years.

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