Tasted - Gusbourne Rosé 2015, Kent

Unsurprisingly good - Gusbourne's Rosé 2015

When I visited Gusbourne a couple of months ago I came away thinking that they had done an excellent job with the 2015 Rosé in the light of what were fairly tricky growing conditions. It was a small year (both in terms of yield and berry size - not always ideal for fizz) and it was also very late, with many producers still picking Chardonnay into November. Meunier came into its own and features more heavily here than in any previous Gusbourne wine. I think you can really sense it.

Gusbourne have worked with a pretty low acidity (for England) of 7.3g/l, matched to a roughly equal dosage. Many would be higher on both fronts in 2015, walking a high acid/high dosage tightrope that suits some wines better than others. Where this wine is clever is in weaving a little herbal grippiness into the back end of the palate to bring a little breadth and vinosity to a vintage which is ultimately unlikely to go down as any winemaker's all-time favourite. As others start with (or move to) a multi-vintage model, you have to applaud Gusbourne for all the ingenuity and imagination it must take to start each year with a blank canvas. I bet they have fun with it.

Gusbourne Rosé 2015

54% Pinot Noir, 32% Pinot Meunier, 14 % Chardonnay. Three strands of flavour here: 1)Sweetness and fragrance from subtle strawberry, quite friendly stone fruits (this took me by surprise a bit) and apple + wild blackberry compote. 2) Subtle richness of sweet bread dough and toast that recedes into the background. 3) Hedgerow and wilderness from rosehip jelly and bitter herbs (think dill/sage/bitters).

Between them these elements merrily swirl around creating plenty of interest that takes this beyond just being a delicious sun-lounger Rosé. The palate starts open with some of that sweeter fruit, but pinches in with tart rosehip/crabapple  - it's a bit pokier than 2014, for sure - but the dosage keeps it steady before this quite delicious bitter herb/pithy texture takes over the baton on the finish. Really well put-together and in some ways quite bold. 90/100