Why the 1086 by Nyetimber belongs on your festive table

A true icon of discernment, this bottle represents the pinnacle of the label's winemaking

The evolution of the English wine scene over the last 20 years has been nothing short of astonishing. Not so long ago dismissed as a curiosity served at provincial summer fêtes and garden parties, English sparkling wine is today a staple of society weddings, royal banquets, and cosmopolitan bars from New York to Tokyo. It’s hard to think of another wine style anywhere in the world that has, over the same period, achieved so much from a near-standing start. But, even amid all this progress, one name stands apart.

Pioneers of English sparkling wine, Nyetimber was the first to recognise the quality potential of the country, planting the holy trinity of sparkling wine grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – back in 1988. The chalk soil, greensand soils and temperate climate of the South Downs – characteristics shared with the world’s most famous sparkling-wine regions – allowed vines to flourish, achieving exceptional balance between ripeness and acidity, complexity and finesse. Such qualities were clearly discernible in the release of Nyetimber's very first vintage Blanc de Blancs, in 1992.

Bottle of 1086 by Nyetimber on a festive table
Bottle of 1086 Rosé by Nyetimber being poured into glasses

A few years later, that quality caught the attention of critic and master of wine Jancis Robinson, who snuck a bottle into the line-up at a blind tasting of Champagnes, a move that brought critical acclaim and was swiftly followed by the dropping of jaws as its identity was revealed. This helped solidify Nyetimber's reputation among the most revered wines and the most respected wine critics, and, subsequently, earned its place within the cellars of the royal household.

Nyetimber’s heritage dates back far beyond the modern arrival of fine English sparkling wine, with the estate itself mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which once belonged to the King of England, Henry VIII. Today, Nyetimber is lead by CEO and owner, Eric Heerema, who took over in 2006 with the belief that the label could reach higher potential still, with his vision set on crafting the finest English sparkling wines worthy of global acclaim.

This potential was realised in 2018 with the inaugural release of 1086 by Nyetimber, England’s first ‘prestige cuvée’ (a highly limited bottling, bringing together the crème de la crème of a producer’s portfolio – something that had, until then, been the near-exclusive preserve of long-established Champagne houses).

Bottle of 1086 by Nyetimber

A true icon of discernment, 1086 by Nyetimber represents the pinnacle of the label's winemaking, produced from a rigorous selection of the finest parcels of wines whose grapes have been picked by hand from the producer’s best vineyards and sites across West Sussex, Kent and Hampshire.

A wine of rarity and refinement, the prestige cuvée is made from only the most exceptional of vintage years. The inaugural release brought together the finest parcels from the outstanding 2009 vintage, and 2010 for the 1086 Rosé by Nyetimber. Now, five years on, we’re seeing the second release in the series: 1086 Rosé 2013 by Nyetimber, a harmonious blend of 64 per cent Pinot Noir and 36 per cent Chardonnay, made from only five base wines, fermented in stainless steel and treated to extended lees-ageing lasting several years.

Bottle of 1086 Rosé by Nyetimber on a table

This has all been crafted by husband-and-wife winemaking team, Head Winemaker Cherie Spriggs and Senior Winemaker Brad Greatrix, who have overseen Nyetimber’s wines for more than fifteen years. ‘The selection of our 1086 by Nyetimber wines during blending is done by taste, not by a formula,’ says Spriggs.

Extended ageing is one of the hallmarks of Nyetimber’s quality. 1086 Rosé 2013 by Nyetimber, notably, has spent six years ageing on lees in bottle before being ‘disgorged’, followed by a further three-and-a-half years thereafter, over which time it takes on the creaminess and texture that signifies the finest of sparkling wines.

Standing proudly in line with the most well-known prestige cuvées, 1086 by Nyetimber can be laid down for many more years, where it will continue to evolve and develop further complexity and depth of flavour. ‘When we launched our 1086 by Nyetimber wines, they had around a decade from when the wines were born, and we know these wines also have further age-ability from now. At Nyetimber, we have a history of wines dating back to our first Blanc de Blancs in 1992, so we can see and evaluate that these exceptional wines will continue to age beautifully for 20 years,’ says Spriggs.

The result is a wine that’s even greater than the sum of its parts, brimming with wild strawberry and red apple, elevated by Chantilly cream and floral notes. At its heart is that signature crystalline acidity that defines the finest English sparkling wines, and complements the opulent and indulgent combination of ripe-fruit flavours and brioche characters that linger throughout a long, luxurious finish.

Next year, Nyetimber will be the official sparkling wine of Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The announcement signifies a shared commitment to excellence, passion and dedication – values that resonate both in the world of sports and the artistry of crafting the finest sparkling wines.

  • Learn more about the 1086 by Nyetimber here, and the 1086 Rosé by Nyetimber here

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