Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014
Who knew that you could grow wine grapes in England? When thinking of England, the first thing that comes to mind is the Queen, the Queen’s Guard, the Crown Jewels, Big Ben, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. When in the world did wine grapes start growing there?
Actually, the original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates back to 1410. The de Goosebourne family crest was made up of three geese and so now, each and every bottle of wine crafted at Gusbourne carries a contemporary goose crest in honor of the family heritage. This ‘Goosemark’ is a symbol of trust, representing their pursuit of uncompromising quality.
In 2004, Andrew Weeber took over the estate with a goal to create English sparkling wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe, and the first vines were planted that year.
All of the grapes used are sourced solely from Gusbourne vineyards. There are 60 hectares at Gusbourne Estate in Kent and 30 hectares in West Sussex that are planted with the 3 classic varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Planting predominantly Burgundian clones in the vineyards, producing lower yields with fruit that is riper and has significantly more flavor. The distinct terroir and exceptionally mild microclimates of the area add depth and complexity to the wine.
“Our Blanc de Blancs is the truest expression of our terroir. We select the finest lots of Chardonnay, exhibiting natural minerality, ensuring that the wine has both the finesse and elegance that one would expect in this style, but also the requisite qualities for extended ageing. Regarded as being at the very pinnacle of English Sparkling Wines, our wines are only released when deemed ready by myself and our Master Sommelier, Laura Rhys. Our intent is to create Pure Elegance.” – Charlie Holland
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, is made using hand selected Chardonnay. The wine is aged for a minimum of forty-two months on lees and six months on cork before release. A classic Blanc de Blancs, it delivers a direct, elegant and fresh finish with beautiful minerality. A bright golden color with a delicate mousse, the wine has classic Chardonnay aromas of green apple, citrus and mineral notes combined with buttered toast and Tarte Tatin richness from extended lees ageing. This wine is a great accompaniment to seafood in general, but is perfect with freshly shucked oysters.
-- Kerry Ichimasa, Assistant Wine Director