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Exclusive! The first ever taste of Gusbourne’s Prestige Cuveé: Fifty One Degrees North

Hello Wineria follower,

Last Monday 12th September, I had a private dinner at 19 Greek Street with Gusbourne Estate. The tasting was presented by Master Sommelier and Brand ambassador Laura Rhys.

If you don’t know Gusbourne, they are a boutique English winery based in Appledore, Kent dated back to 1410. Their motto is to create an English Sparkling Wine that would stand up to the very finest in the world. They may have done it with their Prestige Cuveé.

First of all, I was very impressed with the branding of the dinner. They’ve decorated the whole place in black and gold - the colours on the label of the new top sparkling. Images of the winery in b&w, signs of the precise location (which inspired the name) of the vineyard at the door (see image below). That is also another interesting story: the precise place of where this wine is made. Gusbourne Vineyards in West Sussex and Kent lie at 51° North - above the limit (49°) where sparkling wines could be possible made (for proper ripening). With climate change and the microclimate of the location, now these wines have been achieving greatness.

This dinner was the first time ever they were showcasing this wine. We were, in that room, the first people ever to taste it, how exclusive is that! Before the top sparkling wine, I had a very special tutored tasting of four single vineyards. All these wines are a single expression of their lands and soils - most not sold on the market - part of a private collection of Gusbourne. The grapes from these locations are also used in the blend of the non-vintage Cuveé.

All the single-vineyards have showed depth of flavour. They were very characteristic of the place and terroir showcasing the difference between Sussex and Kent - all very clear on the glass. All stunning in different ways. Please see more below:

Blanc des Blancs 2017 Selhurst Park

Sussex terroir, chalk soils resulting in a lean, flinty sparkling with a steely finish. Super elegant with delicious salinity on the palate. Blanc des Blancs 2017 Commanders Kent terroir, Chardonnay only is planted here. Clay soils bringing a lot of structure and body to this sparkling wine. Full-bodied on the palate with a delicious finish of ripe fruit. From the Blanc des Blanc this was my favorite, I love bold, structured wines and this one was complete for me. This wine will age beautifully.

Blanc des Noirs 2017 Down fields Sussex terroir, with a complex mix of soils: loam, clay, flint. This sparkling is made by Pinot Noir. Delicious mix of red berries, fresh lemon and orange peel on the nose with a beautiful finesse on the finish. This was my favourite of the Blanc des Noirs. Layers of flavours with greater complexity. Blanc des Noirs 2017 Boot Hill Kent terroir, clay soils. Oh my, oh my, this is opulent, rich with layers of flavours opening up on the glass. Before my tasting note and impressions, let me tell you how the dinner was organized.

The dishes were specially created to match the wine, a proper food and wine pairing. All created by the innovative chefs of Bubble Food. A luxurious modern British dinner made with sustainable ingredients creatively presented to us.

Then, the prestige Cuveé - an ode to time and place, a vintage sparkling showcasing the best of English terroir. Master Sommelier Laura served the wine in an interesting 3-phases way. The intention was to recreate the same scenario as when you are at home:

First course: initial sip of the bottle (just opened)
Main course: same wine but now from the middle of the bottle
Dessert: a glass from the very end of the same bottle

That was mind blowing for me. You could see the wine evolving in the glass like great wines do. Fifty One Degrees North 2014 With a meticulous vineyard work, only the best fruit, from the best years are selected for this wine. You can taste it in the glass, a very complex, elegant wine with depth and nuance of flavours. This wine spent 80 months on the lees and you can taste it! Toasty notes, hazelnut, brioche are delicately present on the nose with a spectacular texture on the palate. Superb wine!

Fifty One Degrees North 2014 was released on the market on 15th September. Curious to try? Leave your comments on this post.



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