2010 Wiston "South Downs Estate Cuvée" Brut West Sussex England

SKU #1147737 Jancis Robinson

 All estate grown fruit. 45% Pinot Noir, 22% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay. Fermented in old oak. Much rounder and fuller than the NV brut, with a very prominent acidity thanks to very low dosage. This would be austere if it wasn't for the luscious fruit and generous complexity. Stylised and avant-garde - but delicious. 17/20 points. (RH)  (11/2014)

K&L Notes

The most serious and top-notch English Sparkling producer. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The wines are made by Dermot Sugrue, a talented winemaker who has worked at L'Eglise-Clinet and Leoville-Barton in Bordeaux, as well as Moet & Chandon and Nye Timber (one of England's largest sparkling producers). The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After four years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a dosage of 8g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality. After hearing so much buzz about English sparkling wines in the last few years, we had to see what all the fuss was about. After compiling a list of a dozen top growers from the now several hundred estates, we strictly narrowed down the wines to the best of the best; wines we thought offered world-class quality and an authentic representation of what England can offer. We have done a small introductory import of these wines to give you the chance to check them out.

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Price: $39.99
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By: Steve Greer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/12/2014 | Send Email
Well, the British have landed and this is one of my favorites from the Wiston Estate. Chalkly nose, tart tangerine, racy acidity, fresh and bright. Love the raciness and brightness.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/8/2014 | Send Email
ENGLISH METHOD! That's right, the methode champenoise has origins in England. That's not where the Champagne comparison ends for Wiston, as their vines grow on prime chalky soils, they have been farming their land for over 250 years, and the grapes grown are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. How's the wine? It's spectacular. Very linear, focused and brightly citric, with incredible minerality and length on the finish. It sort of reminds me of Bruno Michel's Blanc de Blancs, that kind of crackling, bright, acid and chalk driven style. Definitely worth a try.

By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2014 | Send Email
The Wiston "South Downs Cuvee" compared to the Gusbourne shows a more linear chiseled feel with a bouquet that offers mineral, Fuji/green apple, light toast and lemony yeasty notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh, bright and crisp with fine acidity supporting the long, persistent, zesty finish. This would reward some cellar time as well. If Jim Barr can give a wine wags of his dogs tail for a rating, I'm giving this Five Queen's wave of the hand!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/2/2014 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
A standout in English Sparkling. These guys are very serious about making world-class sparkling wines. An incredible wine with powerful, chalky minerality and very focused, linear intensity. A low 4g/l dosage and high acidity means this is more in the Extra Brut camp for those that like very crisp dry Champagnes. The wine has rich flavor concentration that zips across the palate. I think this is quite reminiscent of Krug with its barrel-fermented qualities showing through adding another layer of textural quality and toasty flavors. A unique expression of English sparkling from perhaps the most focused producer that we came across. If it matters to you, (and sometimes with “Champagne” it does) these guys also got the packaging right, a very stylish and eye catching bottle, enough to land them on the Forbes list for coolest wine labels of 2013!
Drink from 2014 to 2020

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Alcohol Content (%): 13