Most expensive English sparkling wine unveiled
Nyetimber, one of the rising stars of the English sparkling wine sector, has launched a prestige cuvee rose. It’s priced at an impressively expensive £175 per bottle as the wine estate attempts to compete with top tier Champagnes. It’s now the priciest English sparkling wine on the market.
The range is named 1086, which is an allusion to the year the West Sussex wine estate was first mentioned in the Domesday Book. There is a 2009 brut priced at £150 and the 2010 rose at the previously mentioned £175. Together they are the most expensive sparkling wines from England available.
As they’re so pricey, the pair will only be produced during exceptional vintages with grapes from the estate’s very best parcels. As such, the particular blend will vary according to the vintage used.
1086 2009 brut is a blend made from 11% Pinot Meunier, 43% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay. The 2010 rose is a blend of 25% Chardonnay and 75% Pinot Noir and both are aged for at least five years sur lie (on the lees). This ageing process means that they are kept in contact with dead yeast cells and not filtered in any way. This enriches the wine and is mainly done for white wines to give them a deeper flavour.
Chief winemaker at Nyetimber, Cherie Spriggs, said that the 2009 brut contains “notes of honey, pastry and roasted nuts” and has “a pure and long finish”. The 2010 rose “is silky and elegant with a pure crystalline backbone, evoking floral, cassis and red fruit aromas.”
The wine producer has bottled a small number of magnums of both the rose and brut, priced at £375 and £325 respectively. They also have second vintages lined up of both wines, with a 2013 rose and 2010 brut planned to go on sale later. Spriggs explained: “A wine like 1086 is only possible because we harvest and ferment each parcel separately.”
Nyetimber has more than 90 separate parcels in its vineyards, meaning they can develop and nurture the most nuanced flavours to create the best product to represent the estate. And 1086, they say, represents the best of the best. CEO Eric Heerema added: “We had a dream to create the ultimate expression of this estate. Harvesting from small parcels of our very best fruit, we have created a glorious prestige cuvée.”
The estate was also the first to launch an English fizz priced at more than £50 a bottle. Back in 2013, it also released a single expression from the 2009 vintage, which was called Tillington and came in at £75 per bottle. Only 2,900 bottles were made, all individually numbered.
In 2017, Chapel Down held the crown for the most expensive English sparkling wine on the market with Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvée blanc de blancs from Kent, which was priced at £99.99 per bottle. It’ll be interesting to see what next year has in store!