We give credit to England for bringing Port to the world. But the British have also had a long tradition with making wine, and sparkling wine, dating back to the ubiquitous Romans who seemed to plant vines everywhere they went. There were also active recorded vineyards during the time of Henry the 8th in the very early 1500s. The Neytimber estate, however, was planted in 1988. Made with mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a small amount of Pinot Meunier, their classic cuvee will surprise you if you’re unfamiliar with British wine. It offers a light bubbly lemon verbena, lime kefir, and fresh baked brioche. The carbonation is fairly precise being not aggressive and not too mild and there’s a lovely fresh baked buttered biscuit quality on the finish. It’s very crisp and refreshing, avoiding the sourdough, sour green apple notes that so many champagne and sparkling wines have. Nothing tart here, just a lovely expression of British sparkling wine.
ORIGIN: West Sussex and Hampshire, UK
PRICE: $55 /750 ml
PAIR WITH: Garlic-lemon risotto; grilled veal cutlets; pan seared monkfish
SCORE: 90 POINTS