English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber has announced the release of the country's first demi-sec style sparkling wine.
‘Rice pudding to Panettone': Nyetimber Demi-Sec
The wine is made from 100% estate-grown Chardonnay with a dosage of 45 grams per litre residual sugar, four times the normal amount for the brut style of sparkling wine.
‘There is a niche quality to this wine,’ winemaker Cherie Spriggs told Decanter.com. ‘The whole product is born out of a desire to make a wine to go with dessert.’
‘A classic brut doesn’t have the richness or the unctuous character needed to successfully pair with dessert. This was deliberately made to go with a range of dishes, from classic pastries to rice pudding to Panettone.’
Demi-sec sparkling is uncommon – Spriggs admitted there are none she admires – and unknown in England.
She said that the temperate southern English climate was a boon, allowing them to produce Chardonnay that has ‘a natural, lean acidity’ that could take a dosage of 45gsl without the wine becoming too heavy or cloying.
‘If you have grapes with high phenolics and lots of tannins then you could get something heavy. But with our Chardonnay, even though you have the sweetness level, there is also a refreshing, crisp and pure quality to the wine. It’s an exciting product.’
The demi-sec is something of an experiment for the much-decorated, 160ha West Sussex producer, and only ‘a few thousand’ bottles have been made. ‘It’s early days,’ Spriggs said.
Nyetimber Demi-Sec is available at Harvey Nichols and selected retailers, price £35.
Written by Adam Lechmere