Simpsons Chalklands Classic Cuvee NV

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Elham Valley is an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of the County of Kent, where the contours of the land, the climate and the soil could scarcely be improved upon for viticulture. The intensely lime-rich chalk soil forms part of the same chalk ridge that stretches from southern England to the French Champagne region and on to Burgundy. The English climate may be marginal for viticulture but its relative austerity—where expertly handled—and long, cool ripening period is ideally suited to creating still and sparkling wines with pure variety flavours, elegant acidity and subtly sophisticated aromas.

Classic English bubbly with biscuits, lemon zest, petrichor, green apple and brioche on the nose. On the palate, “sea foam” creamy mousse framing spritzy lemon, white grapefruit, baking bread, red apple, honeycomb and toast notes. A true Brut, this is dry (8 g/L), but not austere. There is some weight here. The extended lees contact gives it a richness and the vivacious acidity and bubbles keep it fresh. Try this with some freshly shucked oysters, or a bowl of buttery movie popcorn.

60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Grapes were hand-picked over a two week period and fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. All components underwent malolactic conversion and spent three months in tank aging on light lees. After a series of tastings, the wine was blended, filtered and bottled to undergo the ‘prise de mousse’. Following the bottle fermentation, the wine spent 20 months aging on yeast lees prior to disgorgement in January 2020.