The Gusbourne Estate and Their Superlative Wines.
In the heart of the picturesque Kent countryside, where lush greenery meets gently rolling hills, the Gusbourne Wine Estate stands as a shining beacon of British winemaking prowess. With a history that spans over a decade, this esteemed estate has consistently produced wines that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s finest vintages.
Recently we were invited by Vinites, Gusbourne’s Dutch importer, for a dinner at Michelin Restaurant Daalder. We got the opportunity to taste and compare the full Gusbourne portfolio, paired with culinary delights.
In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve deeper into the captivating story of Gusbourne, its steadfast commitment to quality, and offer detailed reviews of six exceptional wines: Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere, Gusbourne Fifty-One Degrees North, Pinot Noir Gusbourne and the Gusbourne Brut Rosé.
Gusbourne Wine Estate: Crafting Excellence in English Wines
Founded in 2004 by visionary entrepreneur Andrew Weeber, the Gusbourne Wine Estate graces 60 hectares of pristine English vineyards. Located in Kent, this estate benefits from a terroir that is uniquely British, defined by chalky soils, a maritime climate influenced by the nearby English Channel, and a setting that’s ideal for cultivating classic grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
Gusbourne’s winemaking philosophy is deeply rooted in tradition, drawing inspiration from Champagne’s storied heritage. Key practices include hand-harvesting, the use of a traditional Coquard press, and extended aging in bottle. Sustainability and environmental stewardship are at the heart of their ethos, with organic and biodynamic practices employed to preserve the land for future generations.
Another aspect of their excellence lies in the composition of their wine portfolio. Although known to produce excellent sparkling wines the winery also delivers above par on still wines (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir).
A notable fact: in the sparkling category they only produce vintage wines.
Savoring Excellence: Pairing Culinary Delights with Gusbourne Wines
Let us embark on a sensory journey to explore the individual characteristics of Gusbourne’s exceptional wines. For this article, we will not only revisit the remarkable Gusbourne wines but also provide the expertly curated food pairings we enjoyed at Restaurant Daalder, pairings that enhanced the enjoyment of each wine.
Pairing wine with food is an art form that enhances the tasting experience, elevating both the flavors of the wine and the nuances of the dish. The Gusbourne Wine Estate offers a splendid opportunity to explore the art of wine and food pairing.
Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2019
The Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2019 is an embodiment of the estate’s commitment to excellence in sparkling wine production. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, this sparkling gem showcases a radiant pale gold hue and a persistent, fine mousse. Upon nosing, one is greeted by an intricate bouquet of fresh green apple, vibrant citrus zest, and delicate brioche notes. On the palate, flavors of ripe stone fruits, toasted almonds, and a subtle hint of honey dance gracefully. A seamless balance of acidity and a creamy, lingering finish make this wine a stellar choice for celebrations and cherished moments.
We award the Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2019 with a 93-point DWA score. Earlier we released a more detailed review of the 2019 vintage of this wine. It can be found here.
Food Pairing, Appetizers
Nigri Salmon, Fish & Chips, Sate Kambing, Bao Shrimp.
The Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2019’s vibrant acidity and subtle notes of green apple and citrus zest make it an ideal match for a variety of appetizers. The Nigri Salmon’s delicate fish pairs beautifully with the wine’s freshness, while the crispy texture of Fish & Chips complements its creamy mousse. Sate Kambing’s bold flavors find harmony with the wine’s complexity, and the umami-rich Bao Shrimp is beautifully contrasted by the wine’s fine bubbles.
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018
The Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 is an ode to the estate’s mastery of Chardonnay. Crafted exclusively from Chardonnay grapes, this sparkling wine embodies the finesse and elegance for which the varietal is renowned. Its pale straw color in the glass is enchanting, while the aroma presents a captivating blend of green apple, zesty lemon, and delicate white floral notes. The palate is a symphony of citrus, pear, and subtle minerality, all harmoniously choreographed. This wine’s extraordinary freshness and purity establish it as an exceptional choice for connoisseurs who appreciate the essence of Chardonnay expressed in sparkling form.
We award the Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 with a 93-point DWA score.
Food Pairing, First Course
Hamachi with green apple, tofu and shiso.
The Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018’s purity and elegance align seamlessly with the first course of Hamachi. The wine’s zesty citrus and delicate white floral notes enhance the clean flavors of the dish, while the green apple and shiso offer a refreshing complement to the wine’s profile.
Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere 2019
The Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere 2019 is a still wine that showcases Gusbourne’s dedication to crafting outstanding non-sparkling wines. Named in homage to the legendary Guinevere, this Chardonnay embodies depth and complexity. It pours into the glass with a shimmering pale straw color, while the nose offers a tapestry of aromas featuring ripe orchard fruits, delicate vanilla, and subtle oak spice. Upon sipping, it reveals flavors of golden apple, pear, and a hint of butterscotch, all elegantly framed by balanced acidity and a creamy texture. Guinevere’s versatility ensures it pairs splendidly with a range of dishes, enhancing any fine dining experience.
We award the Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere 2019 with a 93-point DWA score. Earlier we released a more detailed review of the 2019 vintage of this wine. It can be found here.
Food Pairing, Second Course
Lobster Suzette with Grand Marnier, orange and carrot.
The Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere 2019’s complexity and richness harmonize exquisitely with the indulgent flavors of Lobster Suzette. The wine’s ripe orchard fruit and subtle oak spice complement the sweetness of the lobster and the vibrant citrus notes of the sauce.
Gusbourne Fifty-One Degrees North 2014
Gusbourne Fifty-One Degrees North 2014 is a captivating blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, a tribute to the estate’s latitude and the terroir that shapes their wines. This vintage sparkler delights with its pale gold hue and a fine, persistent bead. The nose offers a complex bouquet of ripe pear, red berries, and subtle notes of freshly baked bread. The palate is a revelation of flavors, including stone fruits, wild strawberries, and a hint of toasty brioche. Fifty-One Degrees North is characterized by impeccable balance and vibrant acidity, a pure expression of the excellence that Gusbourne consistently delivers.
We award the Gusbourne Fifty-One Degrees North 2014 with a 94-point DWA score.
Food Pairing, Third Course
Turbot with salty plants, shellfish and sourdough.
The Gusbourne Fifty-One Degrees North 2014, with its complex blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, is an excellent partner for the diverse flavors of the third course. Its ripe pear and red berry notes complement the richness of shellfish and the salty elements in the dish, while the wine’s fine bubbles provide a refreshing contrast to the sourdough.
Pinot Noir Gusbourne 2020
The is a red wine that exemplifies the estate’s mastery of this delicate grape variety. It unveils a symphony of red fruit aromas, including cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, underpinned by subtle earthy notes. On the palate, it offers bright, juicy flavors of red berries, complemented by hints of spice and a silky, refined tannic structure. Pinot Noir enthusiasts will find this wine a delightful expression of the varietal’s finesse and elegance.
We award the Pinot Noir Gusbourne 2020 with a 92-point DWA score.
Food Pairing, Fourth Course
Sweetbread with polenta, Parmesan and kumquat.
The Pinot Noir Gusbourne 2020, with its bright red fruit aromas and refined tannic structure, pairs beautifully with the fourth course. The wine’s cherry and raspberry notes complement the richness of sweetbread, while the earthy elements in the dish resonate with the wine’s subtle earthy undertones.
Gusbourne Brut Rosé 2018
The Gusbourne Brut Rosé 2018 is a sparkling wine that celebrates the art of blending. Crafted from a careful selection of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, it adorns the glass with a captivating salmon-pink hue, hinting at the delightful experience to follow. The nose presents a harmonious blend of red berry aromas, delicate rose petals, and a subtle whisper of citrus zest. Upon tasting, anticipate a refreshing burst of redcurrants, strawberries, and a gentle hint of toasted brioche. This wine’s fine bubbles and lively acidity make it an excellent choice for outdoor gatherings and summer soirées.
We award the Gusbourne Brut Rosé 2018 with a 93-point DWA score.
Food Pairing, Fifth Course
The Gusbourne Brut Rosé 2018, with its delicate salmon-pink hue and red berry aromas, is a delightful companion to the fifth course featuring Tajima Wagyu. The wine’s vibrant acidity and redcurrant flavors harmonize with the succulent and marbled texture of the Wagyu, creating a memorable pairing experience.
A Showcase of Exceptional English Wines
Gusbourne stands as an exemplar of British winemaking excellence, and its wines continue to garner accolades and admirers worldwide. With a profound respect for tradition, a steadfast commitment to sustainability, and an unyielding pursuit of quality, Gusbourne crafts wines that reflect the unique terroir of Kent. Whether you seek a sparkling sensation or a still wine masterpiece, Gusbourne’s offerings are an embodiment of the estate’s enduring dedication to the art of winemaking. Elevate your wine experience and savor the excellence that Gusbourne has perfected over the years, raising a toast to the beauty and brilliance of English winemaking.
This event was covered by our own Niels Aarts, who also wrote the article. We would like to thank Vinites for this opportunity, Gusbourne (in particular Duncan Brown) for the wines and Restaurant Daalder and its staff for the magnificent dinner.
All mentioned wines are imported in the Dutch market and available through Vinites and her retail and hospitality partners.