Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2013, England

My last of these – this wine still has legs though. Charlie Holland’s first vintage in Kent. The best English 2013s have taken some time to emerge fully, but when they do they can be excellent. It was a very late harvest, with low sugars and high acids. But those that got there with ripeness made some fine. precisely-styled wines.

This is starting to show delicious tertiary notes, some truffle and pepper. There’s actually a touch of smoky reductive character playing into that, which I love. Have more recent wines seen a more open style, or is that just the vintage? Some roasted pineapple and delicious charred apricot tart, beautifully contained and delivered with cool, creamy autolytic texture. A lick of tangerine on the finish. This has real finesse, and has come round from an in-betweeny stage when I last tasted 18 months ago. 17.5
/ Blanc de Blancs, England, Gusbourne

Gusbourne Brut Reserve Late Disgorged 2010

An extremely limited run was kept back from this vintage; more will be kept back in future. It does make you wonder about untapped potential in English Sparkling Wine when you see what top examples can do with serious lees-ageing times! Aromatic pear and bright quince jump out with beautiful clarity, enlivened with candied nuts, buttery tatin and these extra nuances of dried lime, maple and even creamy fudge that play intriguingly around the edges. The focus on fruit and length is still there at its heart, though, riding on a pristine, cool wave of flavour that just keeps going and going. One of England’s finest wines


Date Tasted : 11/11/2019

/ 2010, Classic Blend, England, Gusbourne

Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2015

(53% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay) is hitting its stride now, opening up with delicious golden apricots, ripe red apple and a slightly meaty, autumnal kind of Pinot character that is so moreish when it sits just right in the the mix. Some pastry richness and a touch of honey add some breadth before Chardonnay citrus takes the baton for a clean, calm finish.


Date Tasted : 11/11/2019

/ 2015, Classic Blend, England, Gusbourne

Gusbourne Rosé 2015

(54% Pinot Noir, 32% Pinot Meunier, 14% Chardonnay) has always been one of my favourite wines of this vintage. Between subtle strawberry, stone fruits and blackberry compôte this weaves some sweet bread dough and toast. Beautifully pitched between fruit, rosehip bitters and the beginnings of a slightly more honeyed tertiary stage. Delicate but certainly not shrinking.


Date Tasted : 11/11/2019

/ 2015, England, Gusbourne, Rosé

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2010

Made at Ridgeview (as were all the wines before 2013). This was disgorged in 2014 and has found a lovely balance of ageing characters between the texture of lees-ageing and the richness of cork. Dried apple and quince tatin with subtle candied nuts ride an absolutely gorgeously lithe, silky mousse, all delivered with a gentle smile thanks to a dosage which, although a little higher than is used today at 9.4 g/l, is surely part of this wine’s successful journey post-disgorgement. It doesn’t quite have the dimensionality of the later wines in terms of flavour, but it is a proper, delicious maturing Blanc de Blancs.


Date Tasted : 11/11/2019

/ 2010, Blanc de Blancs, England, Gusbourne

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014

Immediately there’s an intensity of ripe yellow fruits – fleshy tropical characters, pineapple, lemon pastry (made with the ripest Sicilian lemons you can find), candied yellow grapefruit – met with flashes of honey on toast, butter and touches of yellow spice. Then a beautifully weighted palate, dry and richly-textured compared to the 2010 (or indeed the 2013) but well short of anything cumbersome. It finishes with the same intensity of candied zest as it started, maintaining focus where some 2014s shrug their shoulders a little.


Date Tasted : 11/11/2019

/ 2014, Blanc de Blancs, England, Gusbourne

Gusbourne Rosé 2015

54% Pinot Noir, 32% Pinot Meunier, 14 % Chardonnay. Three strands of flavour here: 1)Sweetness and fragrance from subtle strawberry, quite friendly stone fruits (this took me by surprise a bit) and apple + wild blackberry compote. 2) Subtle richness of sweet bread dough and toast that recedes into the background. 3) Hedgerow and wilderness from rosehip jelly and bitter herbs (think dill/sage/bitters).

Between them these elements merrily swirl around creating plenty of interest that takes this beyond just being a delicious sun-lounger Rosé. The palate starts open with some of that sweeter fruit, but pinches in with tart rosehip/crabapple – it’s a bit pokier than 2014, for sure – but the dosage keeps it steady before this quite delicious bitter herb/pithy texture takes over the baton on the finish. Really well put-together and in some ways quite bold


Date Tasted : 23/04/2019

/ 2015, Gusbourne, Rosé, Uncategorized

Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2013

55% Pinot Noir, 27% Pinot Meunier, 18% Chardonnay. 3 years on lees, dosage 9 g/l. 2013 is such an interesting year in England. It was cool, late and with higher acids than normal – some have called it more of a Pinot year, but the reality is that the good Chardonnay-based wines seem to have showed more character and length (at least for me). This has really benefited from a bit of cellar time, with grilled red apple, pear and apricot kernel richness touched with herbs and white blossom. There’s some muted strawberry sweetness here but it’s definitely orchard-fruit dominated, fresh and direct, feeling just a little sweet’n sour on the palate. This is good but the Blanc de Blancs 2013 is the pick from this vintage (the 2014 Brut Reserve is really the wine this cuvée wants to be – it is superb and shows the effect of a much better growing season)


Date Tasted : 05/03/2019

/ 2013, Classic Blend, Gusbourne, Uncategorized