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(2020) Gusbourne is a trailblazer of the English wine scene, and seemingly endlessly inventive, with a clutch of one-off and new releases each year, both still and sparkling. The newest edition to the sparkling line-up, this is Pinot Noir from the 2016 vintage, sourced from Gusbourne's vineyards in Kent and West Sussex, and with 50% of the fruit 'dropped' - removed from the vine - during the growing season in order to strengthen and intensify the fruit that remained. A small percentage of the blend was fermented in oak barrels and the wine is Brut, with 7.5g/l residual sugar. Pale gold to straw in colour with plenty of miniscule bubbles, aromas are fresh and appetising, some hazelnut and almond, creamy and ripe orchard fruits, a hint of hawthorn. On the palate there's a juicy generosity to the fruit which is ripe, sweet and mouth-filling, verging on the peachy, but then the fine core of dazzling lemony acidity pushes through, a chalky element too, driving into a long finish. A superb English sparkling wine.
(2017) When Nyetimber introduced the first vintage of their single vineyard Pinot and Chardonnay blend last year it raised many eyebrows, ambitiously priced at £75 - £90 depending on stockist. 4117 bottles of this 2010 have now been released (this was bottle #60), the colour a pale green with gold inflections, the nose very Champagne-like with biscuit and lightly yeasty aromas and then baked apple and a fresh citrus note too. In the mouth it is bright and clear, those fresher notes of clean, cut apple and lemon and lime, fine acidity and just a lovely hint of the sweetness of the dosage and gentle toast in the finish.
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