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A Journey Through Time: Vertical Tasting of Nyetimber’s Prestige Cuvée

26 Mar 2024
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Discovering and sharing the delight of Nyetimber wines with our customers is an incomparable joy that drives us at Nyetimber. Leading the first-ever vertical tasting of our prestigious cuvée, 1086 by Nyetimber, including the newest 2013 vintage, was a moment of real significance. As we reflect on this milestone and the journey to its realisation, we embrace the unique character of each vintage, understanding that it’s not just a progression but a testament to the artistry and patience inherent in winemaking. Join us as we delve into the nuances of 1086 by Nyetimber, exploring its evolution, texture, and the anticipation of future endeavours, as shared by our Head Winemaker, Cherie Spriggs.


How much did it mean to you to launch 1086 2013 by Nyetimber and lead the first vertical tasting of our prestige cuvée? 


One of the many things that I love about my work and what drives me at Nyetimber is being able to witness first-hand the joy on our customer’s faces when discovering our wines. It’s something I’ve always loved, so to see and feel the excitement in the room and hear the reactions from those who experienced the first-ever vertical of our prestige cuvée, 1086 by Nyetimber, including our new 2013 vintage, made for a very special moment.

We’ve historically led verticals with our Tillington Single Vintage and Blanc de Blancs wines, but what struck me about this experience was our elevation into in the long tradition of sharing verticals with our prestige cuvée wines, in a similar style to any famed producer of note.

This release is an extraordinary thing to realise, and reflecting on the time that has passed since we made these wines has furthered my appreciation for the process required to reach this point. The patience required to make wine of this quality is quite extraordinary; there are very few other crafts that have such a long lead time between the point of conception and when you can share in the joy of their creation.

When I consider this passage of time, naturally, there’s so much more to look forward to! Particularly as our Head Winemaker, I am constantly looking towards the future with great excitement for what’s on the horizon for Nyetimber.


When tasting the three vintages of 1086 by Nyetimber, what do you personally note in the expression of the wines?


Owing to the natural variation we have each year in our climate, there isn’t a linear evolution across the three vintages, however, there will always be progression between expressions because it’s impossible to be static as a winemaker. I am one of many who firmly believe in the desirability of vintage variation, as it distinguishes each expression and heightens the experience of enjoying these wines independently or together, comparing and contrasting their characteristics. 

We respect that in producing the best wines across any year, you must vary within, and change is a natural occurrence. Our work is to ensure that the standard of quality sits right at the top where it should be. 

1086 2013 by Nyetimber has a beautiful lightness to it. It has a fine structure and a higher acidity, but this should not be interpreted as an indication of how our prestige cuvées will continue to express themselves in the future. These notes are a mark of the vintage, rather than our push in a particular direction. Without revealing too much, I can share that haven’t noted these characters in the next vintage, reminding us that each release a distinctly unique expression of time and place.



Is there something specific that you worked to create in this vintage expression? 


Each vintage of 1086 by Nyetimber is unique, but what unites them in style is a silky, textural element on the palate that defines our prestige cuvée. 

This is challenging to convey in words, which is why we encourage wine lovers to experience these wines for themselves to further their understanding of what defines an exceptional English sparkling wine. 

Communicating the texture of a wine has always been a fun challenge for me. I used to live next to an extremely experienced chef, and in conversation, he would question the texture of wine based on his understanding of liquidity. Regardless of your palate, this is the natural reaction until you really start to analyse wine, and with a more in-depth appreciation, you begin to note things below a level of overt consciousness. 


At what point did you know that this new 2013 vintage was ready? 


With such a long-aged sparkling wine and our approach to crafting a prestige cuvée, there are multiple stages of development but not a singularity to define the moment of launch. 

It is clear to us when the wine is ready to come off lees, to be riddled and then to be disgorged, and every stage of the journey gives us clues and hints as to when the wine will be ready, whether that is 12 months, 18 months, or two years post discouragement. 

I remember tasting this vintage with Nyetimber Owner and CEO, Eric Heerema, in the spring of 2023. While the wine was still young, it was clear to both of us that the vintage would be ready this year and that it would be great. 

There was once a famous commercial for sweetcorn in Canada, where a man walked into a cornfield before suddenly declaring “it’s ready!”, as if that singular moment marked the precise point at which the corn was perfectly ripe. Wine doesn’t develop in this way – there are more steps and a much greater level of complexity than I think people truly appreciate, especially with sparkling wine. 



What have been your greatest learnings across your journey in pioneering England’s first prestige cuvée? 


My greatest learnings (so far) across this journey have come following the launch our wines while reflecting on the commentary from those who enjoyed them as Nyetimber’s story continues to evolve in time. 

Our wines are interpreted in a unique way by drinkers, and while some consumers prefer 1086 2009 by Nyetimber owing to its richness and its opulence, others prefer our latest 2013 vintage, stating it is lighter and more elegant. 

What I particularly love to see, which is something we hadn’t pre-concluded, is how positively people react to our transparency. When we first thought it could be possible to create a prestige cuvée, there was, and still remains, a strong view in the industry that wines of this calibre should come with a level of mystique as if to safeguard the secrecy of their creation. We saw this as utter nonsense, and in breaking away from the established form, we quickly found that increased transparency was very well received, enabling us to develop an increased awareness and level of appreciation for our processes through better understanding among our fans and customers. 

At Nyetimber, winemaking isn’t about trickery or strange techniques, it’s about the wine enjoyed in every glass – simple as that! I am delighted to be able to tell our customers about every element of our prestige cuvée, and it’s a shame that other producers don’t necessarily do the same. By opening the conversation to share all the elements we consider when producing 1086 by Nyetimber, we are enriching our audience and deepening their appreciation for the wine. 

Our confidence here is strengthened by our estate-owned vineyards, which enable us to take our parcel-by-parcel approach that ensures quality and safeguards the consistency of our wines. 


 1086 by Nyetimber is the best of our best, perfect for celebrating life’s most memorable moments. Are there any fitting moments on the horizon where you’re looking forward to opening a bottle in celebration? 


For me personally, opening a bottle of 1086 by Nyetimber is the moment! The beauty of a great wine is that it creates a wonderful experience by itself, and I love that people save these special wines to celebrate momentous occasions for which they are perfectly suited, but I also feel that these should be seen as exclusive opportunities to enjoy something delightful – so I do often find myself asking, “why wait?”. 

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