An American in England – Visiting Gusbourne

14th February 2018


Having been a fan of Gusbourne’s sparkling wine from afar for a few years, I giddily visited them this past fall with two dear friends, (Kate Clarke and Ehrin Barker as pictured above). Our journey began with a train ride from London’s St. Pancras Station to Ashford International and then a tranquil drive through the charming countryside of Kent with an arrival of half-past 2 at Gusbourne Estate. They are located 6 miles from the coast ( about 36 miles from France ).

Although the Romans are believed to have first grown grapes here ( dating back to 1410! ), current owner Andrew Webber began his journey with the property in 2004. His vision was to create sparkling wines that rivaled the best from around the world. In 2010 the first vintages of Gusbourne were released being their 2006 Brut Reserve and 2006 Blanc de Blancs, both receiving praise and accolades.

After our tour of the vineyards, on a gloriously sunny day, we came back to The Nest. The Nest is Gusbourne’s recently opened visitor center and tasting room (appointments recommended). We were guided through the 2013 vintage of their sparkling wines (to note: they also make lovely still Chardonnay and Pinot Noir).

First, we tasted their Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) that was wonderfully crisp and bursting with notes of green apple, lemon zest and Marcona almonds… all I needed with this wine was an oyster in my other hand!

Secondly, we moved along to their Brut Reserve (55% Pinot Noir, 27% Pinot Meunier and 18% Chardonnay) that was more golden in hue with beautiful notes of red fruits like raspberries, cinnamon dusted strawberries and toasted brioche. I would love this bubbly for a luxuriously long brunch sipping it whilst nibbling on strawberry jam slathered scones.

We concluded our tasting with their alluringly pink Brut Rosé (100% Pinot Noir). I adore the floral aromatics on this wine. It was reminiscent of a beautiful bouquet of roses and in the palate offered notes of strawberries, red currants apricots and ginger. This would be splendid with sushi!

All the sparkling wines shown wonderfully but also have great potential for ageing. I highly recommend visiting Gusbourne yourself and picking up some bottles for now and later.

Written by Bridget Cheslock

Glass of Bubbly

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