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Nyetimber to release non-vintage sparkler

West Sussex-based English sparkling wine estate Nyetimber is to release a non-vintage fizz onto the market, having built up a reserve wine library since 2007.

Nyetimber winemaker Brad Greatrix

The exact release date for the non-vintage sparkler has yet to be decided, but the first batch has already been bottled and is currently ageing on its lees.

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to the estate, winemaker Brad Greatrix said: “We’ve been building up a library of base wines to be used as reserve wine in our non-vintage blend since 2007 – it’s an important wine to have in our portfolio.

“Some people think we’re making it to lessen the blow of bad vintages like 2012, when we made no wine, but it’s really to be able to develop our house style.

“Vintage has a strong influence on style in England, and if you have a large library of reserve wines you can use them to influence the wine’s style. This isn’t about volume buffering.”

Greatrix described Nyetimber’s signature style as offering “intensity of flavour coupled with elegance and a lightness of touch.”

The percentage of reserve wines put aside each year varies from 10% to as high as 30% in some years, but Greatrix stressed that it can never be to the detriment of the house’s flagship vintage sparkler Classic Cuvée, the 2010 vintage of which was crowned Best English Sparkling Wine at the 2015 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships last week.

Nyetimber has 145 hectares of vines across eight sites, including six in West Sussex and two Chardonnay vineyards in Hampshire. Founded in 1988, the estate uses 100% of its own grapes and released its first vintage in 1992.

While Denbies in Surrey boasts the largest single vineyard in the UK, Nyetimber is now the largest vineyard land owner in England.

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