It’s been a big year for Nyetimber. The pioneering English sparkling wine producer based in West Sussex has been celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018. To mark the occasion, Nyetimber decided to redesign its labels, opting for a new shield design with coloured bands that denote the wine inside the bottle: blue for the Classic Cuvée, pink for the Rosé, gold for the Single Vineyard and white for the Blanc de Blancs.
At the International Wine Challenge 2018 in July, a landmark evening for English sparkling wine saw Nyetimber’s Chief Winemaker Cherie Spriggs named Sparkling Winemaker of The Year – the first time the award has been given to both a woman and to someone outside of Champagne. Nyetimber also expect to surpass the annual production milestone of one million bottles in 2018.
And finally, after nearly ten years of hard-work and secrecy, Nyetimber revealed two groundbreaking new cuvées at an exclusive launch event at The Ritz in London earlier this week. The new range, named ‘1086’, is the first prestige cuvée level English sparkling wine and aims to rival the very best of Champagne, both in quality and price tag.
“The wines are characterised by their balance, acidity, length and texture” – Cherie Spriggs, Chief Winemaker
Originally called ‘Nitimbreha’ (‘newly timbered’), the Nyetimber estate made its first appearance in recorded history in the Domesday Book of 1086. Nearly a thousand years later, Nyetimber became the first English vineyard to exclusively plant the ‘holy trinity’ of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines, in 1988.
Since then, Nyetimber have spearheaded the use of Traditional Method champagne production in England, releasing the Single Vineyard sparkling wine Tillington in 2013 (modelled on the ‘clos‘ concept in Champagne) – the first English fizz to cost more than £50.
It seems only fitting then, that Nyetimber are the producer to once again set new standards for English sparkling wine. The 1086 range includes two vintage-dated prestige cuvées: a sparkling white and a sparkling rosé. The pair will be produced only in exceptional vintages, using grapes picked from the best parcels on the estate, and the blends will vary with each vintage.
Chief Winemaker Cherie Spriggs commented: “A wine like 1086 is only possible because we harvest and ferment each parcel separately. With over 90 separate parcels in our vineyards, we can nurture and develop their nuanced flavours to create the ultimate expression of the estate. 1086 represents the best of the best from those parcels.”
|Nyetimber 1086 2009
46% CH, 43% PN, 11% PM | Lees Ageing: 6 Years | Disgorged: February 2016 | Dosage: 9 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 2 Years
On first nose you get lots of pineapple and pear with hints of lees character. Then on tasting some buttery pastry hints, with honey and ripe red apple notes, more pineapple emerge with some of the creamy custard character coming on the finish. Nice and fresh acidity. At present I prefer the white of the pair. 18/20
|Nyetimber 1086 Rosé 2010
75% PN, 25% CH | Lees Ageing: 5 Years | Disgorged: June 2016 | Dosage: 8 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 2 Years
Strong colour, some 19% of red wine shows through giving a distinct cherry and raspberry nose. Then on the palate you get hints of peach and apricot and a nice richness and some lees character. Comes out more red berry and bitter cherry as it warms in the glass. 17.5+/20
The first vintages – 2009 for the white and 2010 for the rosé – have been made in very limited quantities. Just 2,600 bottles and 40 magnums of the white cuvée, and 12,000 bottles and 850 magnums of the rosé cuvée, were produced. We tasted them at The Ritz launch event earlier this week and were blown away by their fine balance and remarkable texture. This level of depth and complexity is undeniably a first for English sparkling wine and not only are they tasting great now, but they clearly have the substance to evolve with age.
Indeed, extended ageing is already a clear factor in the supremacy of the 1086 range. The minimum of 5 years ageing on the lees and 2 years post-disgorgement bottle ageing provide both critical complexity and impressive development. It must also be said that whilst both are tremendous cuvées, the rosé is particularly standout, proving how well-suited Pinot Noir is to the climate of southern England.
We are awaiting shipment of the Nyetimber 1086 range, bottles and magnums of which will be available for delivery from 15th October 2018. The next two vintages of 1086 will be Nyetimber 1086 2010 and Nyetimber 1086 Rosé 2013.