Rose Murray-Brown in The Scotsman 11/1/14: "With £7m of investment, Gusbourne Estate in sunny Appledore in Kent is one of England’s fizz producers to watch this year with its carefully planned expansion of its chardonnay vineyards. The south-facing Kentish escarpment produces lively fizz with good depth: Gusbourne Brut Reserve."
Jamie Goode on Jamie Goode's Wine Blog, 15/11/14: "Gusbourne Estate is one of the most highly reputed of the English producers, and they’ve got sizeable vineyard holdings: 40 hectares in Kent and 22 in West Sussex. Gusbourne was founded by Andrew Weeber in 2004, and first vintage was 2006. This 2010 is lovely: the style is one of approachability and relative richness.
12% alcohol. Fresh, clean, pure with lovely citrus and pear fruit. Very refined with some subtle toastiness and a bit of white peach. Fine acidity with a fresh lemony edge. Sophisticated stuff. 91/100
Olly Smith in The Daily Mail Event Magazine, 15/2/15: "Top quality for the cash, this awesome English bubbly is shrill and bright with a dazzlingly rich lemony wow factor. Stunning."
Victoria Moore in The Telegraph, 31/10/15: "Leads with Chardonnay, which gives sparkling wine a creamy, broad appeal. It's quite high on the dosage (sugar) scale but that's because there's acidity to balance it out, and overall the taste is savoury."
Oz Clarke in the Notes From Oz Clarke newsletter, 3/11/15: "I grew up in Kent and used to ramble the fields near Appledore completely oblivious to the fact that its soils were quite remarkably suited to making sparkling wine as good as that of Champagne. I even nearly kissed a girl in Appledore once. That was much more important. And now Gusborne have come up with this stunning sparkler, pulsing with the fruit of ripe Kentish apples, sprinkled with spice and wrapped in a syrup-soaked fresh French brioche savouriness."
The vines are Champagne cultivars and Gusbourne Estate aims to produce the best grapes possible. These guys have big plans and are one of the friendliest and most beautiful vineyards in the UK, so keep an eye on them because they are great fun to visit. They used to produce the grapes and sell them to other brands, until they realised that their grapes were of such a high quality they could win the accolades for themselves. They use the Method Champenoise (cheekily called Méthode Anglaise on the bottle as a nod to the Brit that invented it).
Grown on a south-facing, ancient escarpment in Appledore, Kent, on clay and sandy loam slopes. The microclimate is warm and dry with a close proximity to the coast. The pruning method used is double guyot and the harvest, which was done by hand, was in October.
In the winery the grapes undergo whole bunch pressing. The juice naturally settles for 36-48 hours and fermentation takes place for 14 days, at 20C, using specially designed sparkling wine yeast, in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Full malolactic fermentation then takes place and the wine is aged on the lees for a minimum of 36 months. The wine was bottled on 2 June 2010.
Sparkling gold in colour, this Chardonnay-dominant blend offers bright lemon and white stone fruit with aromas of freshly baked bread, apple pie and toffee apples. The palate is again zesty and fresh with a good citrus structure fleshed out baked apples, pears, nuts and oatmeal. This wine is perfect for drinking now and will continue to develop well over the next two years. Far more than just an aperitif wine, the citrus flavours make it an excellent accompaniment to oily fish such as salmon.