During this extraordinary time, days seem to contain more pauses for thought than before. At Gusbourne, we have been reflecting on our past vintages - how they change, develop and the contrasts as well as similarities between them.
Inspired by this, we are releasing a series of vintage pairs for you to taste. They offer a fascinating comparison to our most recently released wines and highlight the subtle differences between the still and sparkling versions of the same grape variety.
The first of these vintage pairs is our still Chardonnay Guinevere 2013 and Blanc de Blancs 2013, both excellent expressions of Chardonnay from a cooler vintage. Although 2013 was not a warm year and in some respects it created winemaking challenges, our head winemaker Charlie Holland notes that it's often these more tricky years that create our most exciting and age-worthy wines.
In their youth, the wines were both bright, vibrant and led by their citrus, mineral character and linear expression. As they are ageing, they are starting to show a roundness in the palate and more tertiary notes too.
"These cooler vintage qualities can make the wines a little more gastronomic, leading to some wonderful possibilities for food pairings. I absolutely love the Blanc de Blancs 2013 with fresh oysters, or try the Chardonnay Guinevere 2013 with halibut and shellfish sauce." - Laura Rhys, Master Sommelier
This still Chardonnay shows very classic aromas of citrus, grapefruit peel and green apple. The oak from barrel fermentation has mellowed to provide a creamy texture and a little toast on the finish. There’s a beautiful oyster shell minerality which carries through as well.
Having now seen 6 years ageing on lees and cork, the Blanc de Blancs 2013 is showing elegant citrus fruit and baked apple notes, with a linear, precise palate leading to compelling creamy oak and saline minerality on the finish.
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As the days grow shorter and another growing season reaches its crescendo, we’re inviting guests to join us for a special extended tour during this year’s harvest – another glorious Gusbourne vintage.
The Story Behind Our Still Wines
Crafted only in exceptional years, our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay still wines are the purest expressions of our unique terroir and all the meticulous work that happens in our vineyards in Kent.