Chardonnay * 75cl * 12.5% ABV * Kent, England
The Simpsons' Wine Estate is situated amongst the sunny, sheltered slopes of the Kentish North Downs in the south of England. Its vineyards lie on much sought-after chalky soils, protected from the elements by ancient woodland. The Gravel Castle Chardonnay is made entirely from estate-grown fruit from Burgundian clones in the Roman Road and Railway Hill vineyards. This is a fresh, fruit-driven Chardonnay, unoaked to allow the purity of the variety to shine through. It's also remarkably similar to good Chablis - taut and mineral, but also suggesting some underlying rich and creamy fruit. Lemon and pear notes combine with a slightly bready character from aging on fine lees. One of the most serious and accomplished English white wines we've tried - perfect with crab cakes or oysters.