Three fine white wines made by female winemakers.
Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2013
Winemaker Cherie Spriggs has released the ninth edition of Nyetimber’s Blanc de Blanc, a milestone wine when it was launched with the 1992 vintage. The estate is the first to plant Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier for English sparkling wine, a category that has since won acclaim globally. The 2013 is slightly reserved, showing a persistent, tight beading with a lively citrus, pear and green apple core and medium toastiness. Full malolactic fermentation and five years on lees bring a creamy, buttery mouthfeel, finishing with crisp, white peach fruitiness. $138 from analoguewinemerchant.com
• Though cool through to June, a moderately warm and fine summer allowed grapes to ripen gradually and with reasonable yields.
• This followed a cool 2012 when Nyetimber elected not to make any wine at all that vintage due to the poor maturity of grapes. Yields across many British vineyards were down as much as 75%.
• This marked the first year that grapes from Nyetimber’s Hampshire chalk vineyards were used, in addition to the original West Sussex green sand soils.
Lawson’s Blind River Tekau Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Lawson’s Dry Hills was started in 1992. It now produces wines in Wairau, Waihopai, Omaka and Awatere Valleys – the latter is where the Blind River Tekau fruit comes from. Wild vineyard yeast starts the fermentation naturally, imbuing a rich, juicy mouthfeel to the wine. This vegan choice is immediately appealing, with its citrus, passion fruit and a touch of oak giving some weight. Try it with risotto, goat’s cheese and fish or chicken. Prolific assistant winemaker Rebecca Wiffin also makes wine with Blind River and The Sisters labels. $63 from crystalwines.com
J.B. Becker Wallufer Walkenberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2011
Hans-Josef and Maria Becker are the brothersister duo who took over the family estate in 1971 and continue to make a singular statement on Rheingau wines that defy the typical style. They were one of the first to change to glass Vinolok closures in 2003, which suit their long-lived styles of dry Riesling. Using wild yeast and a quick, warm fermentation, the wines are savoury, layered and complex, and need some air to fully breathe. The Spätlese Trocken has some residual sweetness, but its main character is lean, oxidative on the nose with hazelnuts and wet stones, and ethereal on the palate, giving a bitter orange pith and apricot finish. Price on enquiry from Ares Konsultant, older vintages available.
Spa Esprit’s newest concept is also its most ‘supernatural’. Drunken Farmer is a pop-up natural wine bar which is based at Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari till end June, before travelling to other after-dark locations around town. Operations and wine manager Philippe Chin has selected 90 labels to showcase natural wines which are ‘clean’ and made responsibly, encompassing white, orange, red and Pet Nats from around the world. We spied Christoph Hoch’s Hollenburger Riesling ($14/glass, $70/bottle) and Domaines des Ronces’ Trousseau from Jura ($105/bottle). 130E Minden Road. Keep track of its location on Instagram: @drunkenfarmer_sg