Tasted - Wiston Cuvée Brut 2013 and Ashling Park Cuvée Brut NV

Two from Sugrue 

I thought it'd be interesting to try these together as they are similar blends made by the same winemaker (Dermot Sugrue). The Wiston vintage is from the original Findon vineyard on chalk at Wiston Estate, whereas the Ashling Park...well, actually I'm not entirely sure where this wine is from. The Estate has planted vines, but my understanding is that this cuvée is made from grapes from a nearby vineyard that Gail and Matthew Gardner purchased whilst they wait for their own to bear fruit.

It'd be useful to know a bit more about the vintage base for the 'NV' (or indeed whether it is a true 'NV' or just labelled as such for future continuity). It tasted more like 2014 than 2013 to me. The wine has been on release since for about a year, and there was a nice touch of post-disgorgement flavour coming along - perhaps it's the original disgorgement still? Guesswork aside (nudge, nudge) it's an impressive first release.

Ashling Park Cuvée Brut NV

60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10 % Pinot Meunier. Really good Pinot Noir is centre stage here - so pretty with ripe red pear, summery redcurrant pudding and cream. The Chardonnay citrus is in supporting-actor mode, just offering a little zip. Ginger snaps and a bit of toffee apple bring some subtle depth - I think it is enjoying a little bit of post-disgorgement age. It's fresh, crunchy and appealing on the palate now, but I imagine future bottlings will really add to the picture with new vines and reserve wines (dare I say maybe some more Chardonnay and lees time....?).  Drink over 2 years. 89/100

Wiston Cuvée Brut 2013

47% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier. This claims to have been disgorged in December 2018, 2 weeks before landing on my doorstep! There are a few more layers of flavour here; a tasting-menu of apple (creamy roast bramleys, charred green apple, blossom....), lemon meringue and a touch of clementine, some crystal fruits and apricot too. It seems more Chardonnay-influenced than the numbers suggest (but that's the vintage as well). Really insistent on the palate, the acid plays along with some lovely autolytic texture. It's quite contained at the moment, but will probably hit its peak in something like 2-4 years.* 91/100

*The ageability of 2013 ESW is an interesting one. The more I taste, the more I think I'm generally coming down thinking that the Pinot-based wines are not going to age as well as the (best) Chardonnay-based ones. The Pinots are really pretty in youth but don't always have the intensity of flavour to stay knitted to their (high) acidities as the wines develop. There's plenty of fairly austere Chardonnay about, but good growers that have given their wines enough time on lees have made wines that will hang together for quite some time.