Drink of the Week: Nyetimber Sparkling Rosé - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Nyetimber Sparkling Rosé

As a recently vaccinated person, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting back into the swing of global travel. A lot of folks I know are dreaming of beaches and big cities, but I’m thinking about more familiar territory: rural England. My mother emigrated from a small town near Birmingham to the States in the late sixties, so I’ve long put my dual-citizen status to good use, traveling back and forth to visit family. For a long time I only had tunnel vision for gin on these forays, finding joy in exploring the wealth of options the country is so well-known for (typically paired with a bittersweet bottle of Fever-Tree, of course). But in recent years that focus has expanded to wine as I started reading about how English sparkling wines were rising from obscurity into the mainstream. As a serious fan of all things bubbly, I had my sights set on heading to the UK to report on the category, or at least I did until the pandemic wiped out international flight routes last year. Hopefully I’ll get back soon to explore the burgeoning landscape of English sparkling, but for now I’m laying the foundation for that research by trying some bottles at home.

An especially delicious expression crossed my desk recently, a multi-vintage rosé from Nyetimber, which has wineries based in both West Sussex, Hampshire, and Kent. They were one of the first to exclusively focus on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier when they began production over 30 years ago, and they’ve since built a reputation for quality on the international wine scene; head winemaker Cherie Spriggs became the first female and the first person outside of Champagne to take the title of Sparkling Winemaker of the Year in 2018. One thing I love about English sparkling wines is when they balance a crisp bone-dry character with a lovely through-line of savoriness, and this expression embodies both with gusto. With flavors that oscillate between the fruity brightness of raspberry, currant, rhubarb, and the warm crumble of a shortbread or pie crust, the wine is composed mostly of Chardonnay (45-77% depending on the vintage), with 25-55% Pinot Noir and just a splash of Pinot Meunier for complexity.

It’s an exquisite option for summer celebrations, or a nice splurge for times when the itch of international travel beckons, and this weekend I plan to pop a cork to watch England play in the Euro finals for the first time in 55 years. $57.99, bedfordwines.com

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