Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2019 – Gusbourne.
Sparkling wines, a market that has never expanded and developed itself more than in these last 2 decades. If you only look at the sparkling wines made using the “champagne method” there is a wide choice of countries and regions that offer you a bubble of your taste. England has been amongst these new contenders, and as many of you know they are fit to compete. Especially the South of England has the right conditions in terms of soil, climate is doing its best to contribute (at least for once in a positive way here) and the skills and tools are now widely available.
Gusbourne is one of England “secret weapons” in the “war against champagne” and it is about time the world starts to learn more about the excellent wines this country and producer bring forward. In this review the best-selling sparkling wine by one of the best-selling producers in England, the 2019 Vintage Brut Reserve by Gusbourne.
About the Winery
Gusbourne is located in Kent, England and mostly known for their sparkling wines. The winery was founded in 2004 by Andrew Weeber and Gusbourne’s winemaker is Charlie Holland. Early since the start they have gained a reputation for producing high-quality sparkling wines using traditional methods. The estate has 90 hectares of vineyards, 60 in Kent and 30 in West Sussex. The vineyards in Kent are rich of clay whereas the soil in West Sussex is known for its rich concentration of chalk.
The winery’s portfolio includes both vintage and non-vintage wines, as well as a range of wine styles including Brut, Blanc de Blancs, and Rosé. Gusbourne also produces a range of still wines, including white, red and rosé wines.
Gusbourne’s sparkling wines are made using the méthode traditionnelle, a process similar to that used to produce Champagne in which the wines undergo a second fermentation in the bottle to create the bubbles. Their sparkling wines are made using a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, which are grown in the company’s own vineyards in Kent and East Sussex, as well as from carefully selected vineyards in other regions of England.
Gusbourne is considered one of the leading sparkling wine producers in the UK. The company’s wines have been praised for their quality and character, with an excellent finesse and deep complexity in their wines.
About the Wine
The Gusbourne Brut 2019 is disgorged in June 2022 and a blend containing Chardonnay (62%), Pinot Noir (28%), and Pinot Meunier (10%), the classic recipe used in Champagne. The Chardonnay creates the structure of this wine, acting as its backbone. Pinot Noir brings body and depth and the Pinot Meunier adds floral and additional fruity notes to the wine. This trinity creates a “complete sparkling wine”. The Brut Reserve is Gusbourne’s best-selling wine and ages for a minimum of three years before release.
Bright gold in colour, this blend boosts a fresh nose of citrus and apples but also some deeper and rounder aromas of red fruits such as cherry and strawberry. Further on the nose evolves with attractive fresh pastry notes that feature a touch of cinnamon and spice.
With a bright streak of citrus fruit, the palate is clean and fresh whilst giving tones of soft stone fruit and a long, refreshing finish. The wine performs exceptionally well on complexity and balance an ABV of 12%. This dry sparkling wine, with 9 grams of residual sugar per liter, has a long deep aftertaste and promises further development upon more bottle ageing.
The days of reign for Champagne in the sparkling world seem to come to an end if you take alternatives like this Gusbourne Brut into account. It is known for a while now that the criteria and skills to produce excellent sparkling wines are available in other countries, and England certainly is amongst the top contenders to compete for the crown here.
If you think about it it’s amazing what Gusbourne managed to achieve in under two decades, with their first vintage only released in 2010. It has to be sad that they are amongst England’s best and are surely fit to compete with their cousins in Northern France.
This Vintage Brut is a clear testimonial of hard work, skill and vision and to be honest it does not need comparison and stands on its own feet very much. Bravo Charlie Holland, you have a bright future ahead here.
This wine is imported in The Netherlands by Vinites and available through associated retailers and restaurants.
Taste date: December 2022
Score: 93/100 DWA Score