Appledore sounds like a realm from Lord of the Rings, populated by wizards, hobbits and dragons. But its not; its the sleepy home to Gusbourne Estate in rural Kent. However, this fizz tastes so good that you may be forgiven for thinking that sorcery has been involved in its production. The vines were pinched from Champagne, but the result is very British. With a hue as delicate as an English rose, this is packed with gently spiced biscuits, shortcake, strawberries, cream, red apples and charm. Watch out for Gollum, this is exceedingly precious.
This is one of the highest quality English Sparkling Wines on the market, full stop. The vines are Champagne cultivars and Gusbourne Estate aim 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. The winemaking is currently carried out at Ridgeview (but production will soon be moved to their own winery) using the Methodé Champenoise (cheekily called Méthode Anglaise on the bottle as a nod to the Brit that invented it). This has been aged on the lees for 24 months (longer than many Champagnes).
The result is a very boutique (reading between the lines this means small batch, so get in there before it sells out) and stylish rosé with spicy red berry aromas and the palate is dry, harmonious, persistent, distinctive and incredibly well-balanced. Try it with poached salmon with lemon wedges, strawberries or raspberries and cream or delicate blinis.
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