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The Trouble with Dreams Brut Sugrue South Downs 2018

New Arrival

England Collection by Philglas & Swiggot

  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: NV
  • ABV: 12%
  • Origin: Sussex/England
  • Grapes: 60% Chardonnay/40% Pinot Noir


A truly remarkable English sparkling wine from a stellar vintage in the UK. A mouthwatering blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, this has distinct minerality, exceptional fruit ripeness, floral lift, and a compelling textural complexity that comes from fermentation in large old 500l Burgundian barrels. If you're a fan of elegance and precision in your sparkling wines, this is simply a must try.

Dermot and Ana Sugrue are making exceptional wines that crackle with energy. Prior to starting this project Dermot was winemaker at Nyetimber and established Wiston Estate; Ana has made wine in Germany and Austria, as well as lecturing at Plumpton College. They’re vignerons in the traditional sense of the word, deeply rooted in their vineyards and the winemaking.

Dermot has worked with some sites they buy grapes from for over ten years, and they recently purchased the beautiful Bee Tree Vineyard near Lewes. Dermot’s built relationships with local vineyard owners, so if a good site comes up, they often contact him. He’s been managing the Mount Harry Vineyard for 11 years and has recently secured a long-term lease. It’s a gently sloping, east facing site which gets the sun all day. 2.3ha were planted on pure Sussex chalk in 2006, with a mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a few rows of Meunier. Sugrue work organically ‘at soil level’ using mechanical cultivation for weed control, but the damp maritime climate in the UK means they can’t be on the canopy. Grapes from here form the backbone of their signature cuvée, The Trouble with Dreams, and Zodo MV, their beautifully balanced zero dosage cuvée. Coldharbour Vineyard is about an hour west of Mount Harry, it’s a south facing natural amphitheatre on the edge of the downs with clay/sand soil over a bedrock of chalk. What makes the 7.35ha site unusual is the rows are planted across the slope, which creates a few challenges for working with a tractor, but luckily Lisa and Jeff, who have been looking after it since 2011 are inventive, using water to weight their tractor tyres so it doesn’t feel unstable! The vineyard is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and about 10% Meunier, it’s been herbicide free for ten years. The tense and saline Cuvee Boz Blanc de Blancs is made partly from grapes from this beautiful site. Bee Tree Vineyard is the most recent site in their winemaking palette, named after a wild beehive in a tree on the edge of the site. It was planted by fellow Plumpton alumni James and Darcy Dodson, it’s 72% Pinot Noir, 15% Meunier, with a little Chardonnay and a few rows of experimental PiWi vines. Soils here are clay over lower greensands, providing a contrast to the chalk terroir of their other sites. Dermot explained that greensands bring a roundness and more fruit to wines, where wines from chalky sites are, steely, linear, and pure, they can be austere when young but have the bones to age really well.

Meticulous farming and the naturally low yields you get in the cool UK climate give the wines an impressive concentration. Dermot takes 50% of the juice from the first press for his wines, many people use the first 60-65%, but Dermot says that gives more forward wines with less ageing potential; he does fermentation in stainless steel and neutral oak barrels, since 2013 he’s worked with larger 500 and 600 litre barrels: "Big barrels give finesse to sparkling wine". The wines spend between four-six years sur lie and a minimum of six months on cork before release. From the 2023 vintage they’ll work at their own purpose-built winery on the Bee Tree site. Sugrue South Downs scored a hattrick at this year’s WineGB awards: Cuvée Boz Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015 was named best Blanc de Blancs; Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan MV was awarded Best NV/MV Classic Cuvée; and Sugrue South Downs was named Best Boutique Producer. It’s nice to win awards but we think the wines speak very eloquently for themselves.