English sparkling wine estate Nyetimber has launched a prestige cuvée rosé priced at an ambitious £175 a bottle in a bid to compete with top-end Champagnes, making it the most expensive English fizz on the market.
Called 1086 in a nod to the West Sussex estate’s first mention in the Doomsday book, in addition to the 2010 rosé, the range includes a 2009 brut priced at £150, making the pair the most expensive English sparkling wines on the market.
Given their lofty price tags, the duo will only be made in exceptional vintages with grapes from the estate’s best parcels, and the blends will vary with each vintage.
1086 2009 brut is made from is 46% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir and 11% Pinot Meunier, while the 2010 rosé is crafted from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Both are aged on their lees for at least five years.
According to chief winemaker Cherie Spriggs, the 2009 brut boasts notes of “honey, pastry and roasted nuts” and has “a pure and long finish”.
The 2010 rosé meanwhile, “is silky and elegant with a pure crystalline backbone, evoking floral, cassis and red fruit aromas”. Both Harrods and Fortmun & Mason have taken on the high-end sparklers, along with a few select restaurants and bars.
Nyetimber has also bottled a number of magnums of both the brut and the rosé, priced at £325 and £375 respectively. Spriggs already has the second vintages of both wines lined up, with a 2010 brut and a 2013 rosé due to go on sale in the future.
“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,” Spriggs said.
“The wines are characterised by their balance, acidity, length and texture, and are beautifully judged and combine seamlessly on the palate,” she 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 that stands in comparison with the best of the best,” said CEO Eric Heerema.
The Nyetimber estate was originally called ‘Nitimbreha’, meaning ‘newly timbered’ house. It once belonged to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife.
Nyetimber was the first English sparkling wine estate to launch an English fizz above £50. Back in 2013 it released a single vineyard expression from the 2009 vintage called Tillington, priced at £75 a bottle.
Modelled on the “clos” concept in Champagne, just 2,900 individually numbered bottles were made.
Last year Chapel Down went one better with the release of 1,600 numbered bottles of Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvée blanc de blancs from Kent, priced at £99.99 a bottle, which at the time made it the most expensive English fizz on the market.