While it was a difficult harvest for much of Europe, 2017 proved to be very different for us here in Kent. The location of our vineyards, combined with the diligent, careful hard work of our expert vineyard teams, meant that we weren’t affected by the widespread frosts that challenged producers on the continent.
The season started well in the spring, followed by a warm and sunny summer. Ideal conditions that produced brilliant quality fruit, giving our winemaking team the optimal base to start from. Both drinking beautifully right now, Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2017 and Gusbourne Rosé 2017 are currently showing some “lovely, developed, toasty characters which will only continue to develop – very promising for further bottle ageing” – as noted by Head Winemaker Charlie Holland.
Laura Rhys MS, Gusbourne’s Global Ambassador, agrees: “The fruit is really well defined in the 2017 vintages. There’s beautiful freshness and a really lovely elegance. The weight on the palate feels different from the 2016s – there’s a lightness and refinement – the wines are very focussed.”
A classic example of how the traditional trio of sparkling-wine grapes work so well together. This year’s bright gold blend, says Laura, is nearly an exact third/third/third ratio, with the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier adding softness and roundness of fruit, while the Chardonnay brings freshness, combined with apple and citrus notes. “It’s a perfect aperitif and so wonderful with fish and seafood – think crab salad, langoustines in a garlicky butter sauce or classic fish and chips.”
Bright, fresh and fruit driven, this vintage sparkling wine is exhibiting all the hallmarks of the Gusbourne rosé style. Red fruits, red apple and stone fruit notes, along with some floral, ginger and spice notes coming together to build complexity. “It’s the perfect wine for an Indian Summer,” says Laura, pinning her hopes on a fine September and October. “And it pairs brilliantly with food, too. Right now I’m pining for seared tuna with a fennel and orange salad or chilli and garlic-marinated pork loin roast. For afters, something like an orange polenta cake with honey cream. A dream match.”
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