This is the latest release of the Brut Reserve from Gusbourne, one of the UK’s top sparkling wine producers. 2014 saw an early budburst with good weather through to the end of June. This is always the critical bit of the vintage in the UK because good flowering means good yields, and in this year there was enough warmth to ripen the crop.
Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2014 England
12% alcohol. 60% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Meunier. Clay and sandy loam soils on a south-facing escarpment in Appledore, Kent. Harvested in September and October, this was whole bunch pressed an settled naturally, before fermentation with selected yeasts in stainless steel, with a bit in barrel for complexity. The bottling was in April 2015, with three years on lees. pH 3.12, dosage 8 g/litre, acid 8 g/litre. This is rich and very refined with citrus, pear and peach fruit, as well as a touch of toastiness. There’s a hint of sweetness from the dosage, which rounds out the palate, which finishes with lemony brightness. There’s a hint of cherry from the Pinot, and also some bakery notes of brioche and apple pie, but the wine is honest and focused. It would be lovely to see this with a little less make-up (lower dosage), but it’s really good just as it is. 91/100 (£35 Oddbins, Berry Bros & Rudd, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason)