Tasted - Wiston Estate Cuvée Brut 2009

A more in-depth look at the Wiston 2009 Vintage

This is an interesting wine from leading Sussex producers Wiston Estate. I believe it was held back by Dermot Sugrue and the team for quite some time, only being disgorged in 2016 (and available for sale at the moment with almost 3 years' post-disgorgement ageing). At the Institute of the Masters of Wine English Sparkling Wine tasting before Christmas I was pretty struck by this (and the 2013), so I picked some up. We popped one open to see how it would look over an evening.

Wiston Cuvée Brut 2009

60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 10% Meunier from Wiston's original Findon site, 1/3 vinified in young and old oak. No malo, 8g/l dosage. This wine is a complex, shimmering beauty on the nose. I'm aware I have a lot of notes for it, but it just kept throwing things at me over the course of a few hours. Starting off with dried, sharp apple and pear tatin (just catching around the edges), it opened up with sweetness of apricot, white chocolate meringue and ratafia, starfruit and orange bitters. Then there are all these lovely nuances; savoury earth and spice from bay leaf and sea salt, perfume from tonka bean and sweet jasmine, a bit of fluffy, funky autumnal quince. Just so enchanting.

The palate jumps in with this developed orchard fruit tinged with charred citrus and post-disgorgement richness, clinging for its life on a speeding train of powerful, engulfing acidity. It's a bit Jekyll-and-Hyde with this openness and austerity co-existing; whilst the nose is layered and complex, the palate plays close to the edge (probably just getting away with it). On this showing I would be inclined to drink it within the next couple of years - I think it will develop wonderfully from an aromatic/flavour perspective for sure. There's not really anything quite like this on the market at the moment, and the whole acidity/integration/age/cohesion dynamic is something we're all still learning about with English wines. If you're inquisitive about English Sparkling Wine it's something you have to try. 90