We had a fantastic day on Monday visiting our friends at Gusbourne Estate. We had a tour of the vineyards and winery, a tasting of the whole range (amazing wines) then a delicious lunch of local lamb.
The vineyards are on the Sussex/Kent border and are not available in supermarkets or many other places unless you frequent places like Le Gavroche, Le Manoir or The Fat Duck where you'll find them on their wine list. Charlie Holland the genius wine maker who was previously making wines at Ridgeview Wine is not only a fantastic man and friend of Butlers Wine Cellar, he's also making some amazing wines. With new plantings around the existing vineyard and some near Chichester there will hopefully be more produced over the next few years. The emphasis is on quality and it really shows in the taste of these wines.
The 2010 Brut Reserve is tasting delicious. Its full flavoured, rich and biscuity with flavours of vanilla and buttery toast, my kind of fizz and with huge ageing potential.
The 2010 Blanc de Blancs is a treat, bursting with green apple and citrus notes with a real taste and nose of saline and minerality which perhaps comes from the surrounding marsh land and close proximity to the sea. A real difference to some other English wines made more in land. It is flinty and a bit smoky with a richer vanilla finish. Delicious!
As a comparison we tried the 2008 Blanc de Blancs which is developing some real dairy and cheese flavours leading to a more savoury mushroom character with that underlying salinity and creamy aftertaste. To have these wines with some local seafood in the sunshine would be nothing short of perfection so please get some of these wines soon as the older vintages don't hang around long, and you won't be disappointed.
It was excellent to meet the WINE Explorers during our visit who are travelling around the world tasting, reviewing, filming all things wine. Keep an eye out for these two as they are great blokes on an amazing wine adventure.
I'm getting some bottles for home aside now.