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 gravity fed 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.
2020 saw a bright and sunny start to the growing season in late March and early April that augured well, but unfortunately it was followed by a series of frosts that ultimately reduced the crop. On the positive side, the remainder of the summer was relatively sunny and warm with occasional rain. By harvest, the smaller crop levels and favourable conditions resulted in high quality fruit that was bursting with intense flavours.
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 Champagne and on to Burgundy. The grapes come from the Roman Road vineyard, where the Guyot trained vines are trained on vertical foliage wires to help with canopy management. The vines are planted at a density of 4,200 vines per hectare with a range of sparkling or Burgundian clones on either Fercal or 41B rootstocks. They are grown on south facing slopes, ensuring heat accumulation in 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.
The hand-picked grapes were whole bunch pressed in an oxygen-free pneumatic press to preserve the pure, primary red-fruit aromas and flavours. The juice was cold settled and fermented in stainless tanks. The wine underwent full malolactic conversion and was rested in tank until tirage. Following secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine was aged on its lees for 15 months prior to disgorgement, with a further three months on cork, prior to release.
An elegant sparkling rosé delicate honeysuckle and fresh raspberry sorbet nose, illustrating finesse and balance. On the palate, notes of exotic fruits; wild strawberry and smooth lychee are balanced with tangy lime through to a clean, complex finish.
Pinot Noir 100%.