Gusbourne: one of the UK’s leading producers


Back in 2004 Andrew Weeber planted the first vines of Gusbourne in Appeldore in Kent. The first wines were made from the 2006 vintage, and because this is sparkling wine, they were released in 2010 to critical acclaim. Things have moved on since then and now this is one of the significant movers in the English sparkling wine scene, with 60 hectares of vines at the home site in Kent (clay-based soils, on a south-facing escarpment) and another 30 hectares on chalk/flint/loam soils in Goodwood in Sussex.

Gusbourne winemaker Charlie Holland

‘Precision is important,’ says winemaker Charlie Holland. ‘We pay a lot of attention to detail.’ Under Holland, the wines have gone from strength to strength. The house style is a fullyer, richer one with ripeness, but freshness is retained. In addition to the sparkling wines, some impressive stills are now being produced, too. This is one producer where everything is worth trying.


Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2018 England
There was a bit of malolactic this year, and the wine is a blend of 64% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay and 129% Pinot Noir. Lovely fruit here with cherries, citrus and some sweeter notes of pear, peach and apples. Very stylish with nice weight, and a fresh finish. 92/100 (£39)

Gusbourne Rosé 2016 England
60% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Meunier. 5% red wine added plus a portion of saignee. Pale pink. Shows great precision with strawberry and red cherry fruit. Stylish with good concentration and balance, showing lovely purity. Tapering finish. 93/100

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2016 England
12% alcohol. The analysis is pH 3.10 (low), TA 7.9 g/l (normal) and the dosage results in 8.3 g/l residual sugar (normal). It spends 42 months on lees at least (depending on the disgorging run). This is a really impressive wine with taut citrus aromatics and just a hint of bread and toast. The palate has keen acidity nicely offset by some sweetness, and combining the lively citrus fruit with some subtle apricot and mandarin. There’s good concentration and a long, juicy finish. I reckon this will benefit from a bit of ageing on cork: it’s currently very primary, and although it’s impressive, there’s some integration of flavour still to come. 94/100 (£59)

Gusbourne Blanc de Noirs 2018 England
100% Pinot Noir, a wine only made in some years. Very fine with lovely cherry and citris fruit. Poweful but fresh with a bit of grip, and some fine spiciness. This is expansive and rounded with great acidity. Almost peppery! Expansive and fine. 94/100 (£59)

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2013 England (magnum)
Disgorged 6 months ago. Fruity, lively and intense with nice precision and focus. Very fine with notes of greengage, cherries and lemons as well as fine herbs. Sweetly expressive with some focus, as well as some table grape and melon richness. Lovely. 93/100

Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinivere 2019 England
Whole bunch pressed and cloudy ferment in barrel, 20% new. Showing textured quince fruit with some toast, as well as nice spicy hints and a touch of green. Lovely pear, apple and nut notes in the mix too. 91/100 (£29)

Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2019 England
Sweetly aromatic cherry fruit nose with a hint of reduction. Some green notes. The palate is fruity and lively with nice cherries and plums, showing good texture and lovely fruitiness. Impressive. 91/100

Gusbourne Pinot Meunier 2020 Kent, England
12% alcohol. From their Mill Hill East Vineyard. This is supple, fine and expressive – it’s very Pinot Meunier, with cherry and raspberry fruit and some lovely dried herbs and lavender notes. Such a core of sweet black cherry fruit. Really refined and expressive, it’s a very serious example of this variety, with a lovely fragrance. 93/100

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