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A cool climate, fruit-driven and unoaked Chardonnay displaying fresh, citrus and apple aromas, refreshing tropical fruit flavours with a zesty, flinty finish.
Simpsons Wine Estate, Kent, 'Gravel Castle', Chardonnay.png

Winemaker: Leigh Sparrow Region: Kent Subregion: Kent Country: England Alcohol: 12.5% Dry/Sweetvalue: 1 (1 is dry, 7 is very sweet) ResidualSugar: 1 Contains Sulphites: Yes Vegetarian/Vegan: Yes/Yes Milk/Eggs: No/No Organic: No Biodynamic: No ProductCode: 3747022A Case unit of measure: 6X75CL FormatsAvailable: 75cl Closure: Screwcap

Simpsons Wine Estate, Kent, 'Gravel Castle', Chardonnay 2022

Producer Note: Charles and Ruth Simpson have been making award-winning wines in the South of France since 2002. In 2012, attracted by the quality of the terroir and the opportunity to become part of one of the most dynamic wine producing regions in the world, they brought their expertise back to the UK, establishing Simpsons Wine Estate. Aspiring to produce the finest quality English wine, they gradually planted 30 hectares of vineyards on the iconic chalk terroir of the North Downs and built a state-of-the-art winery. They are members of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain. In 2016, the Simpsons saw their first harvest. With a strong focus on provenance, they produce a highly acclaimed range of exclusively estate-grown still and sparkling wines, including the Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016, which won a gold medal in the 2019 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.

Vintage: The start of the 2022 growing season was cool so the vines were slow to shoot which meant frost damage was avoided. It was a warm sunny growing season with very little rain which led to excellent fruit flavours and ripeness. At one stage there was concern the dry conditions would lead to a smaller than normal crop, however the chalk soils provided the vines with adequate moisture to provide an ample harvest.

Vineyard: Simpsons Wine Estate is situated in the Elham Valley; an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of Kent where the contours of the land, the climate and the soil are excellent for viticulture. The intensely lime-rich chalk soil forms part of the same chalk ridge that stretches from southern England through the Champagne region and on to Burgundy. The Roman Road and Railway Hill vineyards are planted with Burgundian clones 96 and 548, at a density of 4,200 vines per hectare on either Fercal or 41B rootstocks. The Guyot trained vines flourish on sloping, south facing vineyards, which ensure heat accumulation during the day and cold air drainage at night. The vineyard is less than eight miles from the coast providing a crucial maritime influence insulating the fruit against intense temperature variations. Grass cover crops between the rows encourage biodiversity within the vineyard. Pruning and harvesting takes place by hand and they are signed up to the WineGB’s Sustainability Scheme.

Winemaking: The winemaking methods promote the purest expression of fruit and the Kentish terroir, with as little intervention as possible. The grapes from Burgundian Chardonnay clones 96 and 548 were carefully harvested, gently pressed and the juice was cold settled for 24 hours. Once racked, the juice was inoculated with aromatic yeasts. The wine underwent full malolactic conversion to soften the acidity and increase mouthfeel. The wine was aged on fine lees prior to bottling in spring.

TastingNote: This delightful Chardonnay displays delicate aromas of white melon and orange blossom, with superb mouth-watering minerality, citrus peel, quince and fresh green apple flavours and a lingering, textured palate.

Grape: Chardonnay 100%

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