We are thrilled to share that our wines have been featured in Apéritif, Norway’s most influential wine publication. Here is the translation of this wonderful write up, click here to read the original publication.
If you haven't got the taste for English wine yet, you soon will have with these wines. I can't imagine sipping on a more perfect glass of wine, whilst enjoying another episode of The Crown, than these still and sparkling wines from Kent.
Simpsons’ Flint Fields Blanc de Noirs 2016 is a truly delicious sparkling wine made solely with Pinot Noir grapes of clone 115, which are more commonly grown for still wines (as in central Burgundy) than for sparkling wine (as in Champagne). This helps explain the good concentration of this wine and the great acidity, which is also a hallmark of this clone. This is produced via the traditional method, with alcohol and malolactic fermentation in a steel tank, maturation of the sediment in the tank and then two years in the bottle before capping, which was completed in June this year. Therefore, it is only now that this wine is ready to drink, after accumulating in the bottle half a year since this "shock experience". This sparkling wine is best suited for drinking whilst luxuriating regally with an episode of The Crown, for elaborate dishes of lamb, terrine, chicken or veal carpaccio, or for aging.
Simpsons’ Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016 is a little less "demanding" in style, and a blend of 60/40 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is therefore even more invigorating and elegant with great acidity. A perfect partner for shellfish or when you just want to enjoy high quality refreshing bubbles.
The names Flint Fields and Chalklands point to the characteristics of the vineyards that have yielded the grapes. Both of these wines get their grapes from the English wine region of Kent in the south-eastern part of England, just over a mile from Dover which, with its white cliffs, provides an excellent demonstration of how deep this limestone soil is. It is these flintstones that add extra depth to the grapes from the lime soil that Kent shares with both Champagne and Chablis on the French side of The Channel. This is also why the south-east of England has a large concentration of well-known producers of sparkling wine, including Nyetimber, Gusbourne and Ridgeview, all of which have been on the Norwegian market for some time.
Behind Simpsons’ Wine Estate are Charles and Ruth Simpson. They are among the "pioneers" of the British wine scene, although they started as late as 2014, yet the owners have gained vast experience from their winery in the Languedoc: Domaine Sainte Rose has 40 acres of vineyards and has been run by the Simpson family since 2002 when they "gave up their careers to follow their dream".
Kent and the south-east of England are another story all together, yet no less demanding and purely ambitious, and of course with completely different grape varieties, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The Simpsons planted 10 hectares in 2014 and followed up with 20 more in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, the quality of their wines is impressively good given this short period of time and, not least, the age of the vines.
They also make still wines, which are great value for money. Simpsons’ Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir 2018 is the still edition of Flint Fields, but made employing the red wine method with traces of oak, which are very discreet. A playful and invigorating Pinot Noir that is also structured enough to withstand storage and already tastes great.
Simpsons’ The Roman Road Chardonnay 2018 is reminiscent of a well-made Chardonnay from Central Burgundy, but with the extra good acidity that is characteristic of this grape and the climatic conditions of south-east England. Because although this is the hottest corner of England, it is still cool in winter. The grapes come from The Roman Road vineyard which is on the historic route that the Romans followed when they invaded England in the year 43. It was then also the Romans who brought the vines to England, so with this wine the circle is complete.
There is also a less expensive version - Simpson's Gravel Castle Chardonnay 2018, which is both elegant and refreshing with good dryness, and a great alternative to Chablis, but due to high demand, there are now only a few bottles left.