Time moves quickly in the English wine world. It's almost exactly a year since Nyetimber unveiled its flagship Nyetimber 1086 wines to the world; England's most prestigious and most expensive sparkling wines, at £150 and £175 a bottle. One year on, and the inaugural wines have received much critical acclaim. This Monday saw the Nyetimber team, including winemakers Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix, head to Rosewood London for an understated but classy release of the follow-up Nyetimber 1086 2010, which was tasted for the first time alongside its current rosé counterpart 1086 Rosé 2010.
Cherie and Brad opened the event with a quick overview of Nyetimber, its history and growth. The husband and wife winemaking team arrived in England in 2007 not long after writing to Nyetimber after enjoying a bottle in their original home of Canada. The couple has been instrumental in transforming Nyetimber and its wines into what they are today, famously championing a Non-Vintage approach in the estate's Classic Cuvée and Rosé wines, and being the masterminds behind the 1086 wines.
With now 280 hectares of land under vine, there are in total ten vineyard sites across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, all of which are situated on either green sand or chalk. Brad talked a little about 2010, which he dubbed "the slightly unsung vintage". A hot July ensured healthy flowering and fruit set, the early foundations of a great year. The ripening season was long, cool and crucially, dry. This resulted in fantastic fruit quality, with thanks to the slow, gradual ripening that the vintage allowed for. Indeed, 2010 has already been very kind to Nyetimber, with other wines from this vintage such as the Classic Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs and Tillington Single Vineyard being amongst their most highly praised wines to date. So it was with much excitement that Brad shared the 1086 Vintage 2010 with a room full of eager tasters.
As the Rosewood team poured the wine, Cherie continued and talked about the importance of mouthfeel in the 1086 wines, and how a meticulous selection of the very best fruit, presently exclusively from the West Sussex sites, has enabled her to produce a world-class prestige cuvée.
“As a selection of the very best wines produced by Nyetimber in a given vintage, this 2010 vintage of 1086 represents the pinnacle of our winemaking and reaffirms England’s ability to produce an exceptional, sparkling wine.”
Cherie Spriggs, Head Winemaker
The 1086 Vintage 2010 is almost exactly the same grape blend as the inaugural vintage, with 45% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir and 11% Pinot Meunier. Having been bottled in May 2011 and disgorged this year in February, the wine has spent nearly eight years on the lees, making it one of the longest lees-aged English sparkling wines on the market right now. Despite this extended ageing period, the 1086 Vintage 2010 is remarkably energetic. Bright, crisp orchard fruits and zesty citrus notes; the very signature of 2010, one of my personal favourite vintages in English sparkling. That crisp, bright fruit is surrounded by an enveloping toasted nut and nougat richness. My full tasting notes can be found below, along with updated comments on the 1086 Rosé Vintage 2010.
The Nyetimber 1086 Vintage 2010 is now available as a two week exclusive at Fortnum and Mason, priced at £150 a bottle and £350 for a magnum. 12,000 bottles have been made of Vintage 2010, along with 800 magnums. During the tasting, Cherie confirmed that there will not be any 1086 wines made from either the 2011 or 2012 vintages, so we will have an extended wait until Vintage 2013 releases in a few good years.
Nyetimber 1086 Vintage 2010
GRAPES: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier PRICE: £150.00
As the wine was poured generously and elegantly, I noticed the fine, tiny streams of bubbles and the delicate golden tones.
The aromas are intricate and refined, with a classic almond croissant and toasted nut complexity that leapt out of the glass immediately, supported by ripe English orchard fruit and citrus peel aromas.
To taste, the 1086 Vintage 2010 greets you with a vibrant, tangy citrus and orchard fruit fusion, that softens to riper stone fruit flavours. The mid-taste is surrounded a creamy, nutty nougat richness, which envelops and complements the radiant fruit flavours. There's a real sense of journey and structure, ending on a lingering aftertaste of crushed, toasted nuts and light mineral hues.
It's a truly sublime wine, as it should be at £150 a bottle. My overall thought was that it felt a stronger offering than the already impressive 2009 first release. The energetic tension that the 2010 vintage brings ensures this wine has a very long life ahead, and the balance between richness and fruit purity is an absolute triumph.
- Buy from Fortnum & Mason £150.00
Nyetimber 1086 Rosé Vintage 2010
GRAPES: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay PRICE: £175.00
I've been lucky enough to sample this wine a number of times since its release last year, and it continues to impress and stand out as the most texturally complex English sparkling rosé on the market.
The 1086 Rosé Vintage 2010 is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir with 25% Chardonnay. This wine spent five years on lees prior to disgorging in October 2016, and has spent a further three years under cork.
It's got a gorgeous colour of copper with autumnal hues, with a nose to match of vibrant winter berries and delicately spiced notes, with hints of fennel and crumbly patisserie pastry.
The time that this wine has spent under cork has really encouraged the mouthfeel to evolve with silky-soft textures. The fruit is now edging more towards suggestions of soft, summer berry pudding; however, there's still a tangy, vibrant streak cutting through.
Most memorable is the distinctive minerality and light spiced notes that have real presence and length on the finish.
- Buy from Fortnum & Mason £175.00