Sthlm – 9 september
As you know, I am a ‘Champagneophile’ who always defends Champagne against all the other sparkling wines in the world. It is even the case that I do not award any points to sparkling wines as they in comparison with champagne would get embarrassingly low points. But there are exceptions where the quality can be measured with simpler or even medium-sized champagne. In all cases, the examples are made according to quality-oriented principles by extremely dedicated people and from plantations and climates with good conditions for making good sparkling wines. At English Nyetimber, all these conditions are at a higher level than any other place outside Champagne and the conditions are managed in an exemplary manner.
Let me take the band back to a tasting I arranged at home in 2008. I was working on a new book where I was going to include a chapter on the world’s top sparkling wines outside of Champagne and had hundreds of product samples sent to me. When I tested through them all, I chose my 15 favorites. They came from England, the United States, New Zealand, Tasmania, Italy, Germany and other districts of France. I invited home a good tasting group who expected a regular football night, but got to see 16 glasses poured and ready in front of them. I did not say a word that they were sparkling wines to try, I just asked them to rank their three favorites. As ‘Dark Horse’, I snuck in a 16th bottle, a Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial.