Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2003

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This is perhaps one of the most famous and most acclaimed vintages from Nyetimber, taking many national and international medals and trophies. 2003 was a hot and dry vintage that Brad described as “about as ripe as you will get in England”, and that puts it stylistically alongside the younger 2009 and 2014 – though, as with 2007 there was no malo used on this wine.

I found this wine to be the most autolytic and yeasty of all seven, which was curious as it actually had spent significantly less time on lees (nearly ten years, with a further nine under cork) than the other significantly aged examples.

The wine’s golden cloak is immediately endearing, as is its rich, complex nose of toasted brioche and golden, buttery baked orchard fruit.

The palate continues with this enveloping richness. I picked up on suggestions of vanilla or spice even, but there was no oak used in this wine. Perhaps it is the result of a decade under cork?

It’s easy to see why this wine has received so much attention – few sparkling wines in the world outside of Champagne can combine the broadness of expression yet reined in restraint that this wine still shows at nearly 20 years old.

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