An experimental approach with this skin-contact white, and one of our Tillingham favourites. It uses mainly Ortega and Muller Thurgau, along with a blend of Bacchus and Pinot Gris in smaller quantities, all of which are subject to a variety of techniques such as direct press, skin-maceration in whole bunches, ageing in both wooden and steel vessels and lees stirring before all being blended back together again to create the finished wine. The result sees that typically tart, green apple freshness given an impressive level of texture and depth - Rose gold with an ethereal shimmer. A highly aromatic nose with magnolia and elderflower notes. Good grip from the maceration and bright acidity which underpins a lasting finish.
We think Ben Walgate's Tillingham project is one of the most interesting and exciting in the UK right now. He popped into our world with his zippy (and eye-catching) 2017 Pet Nat - a tart, rhubarb-fruited sparkler - and since then he's put out a wide-ranging well-executed selection of wines, from Jura-style Chardonnay to Ortega matured in Georgian-style qvevri that Ben has had installed in his cellar. Always experimenting with myriad styles and techniques to explore what is possible and to find out what works. In this time he's also generated a huge demand for his wines. Following in the footsteps of British producers Ancre Hill and Davenport (in Wales and England respectively), Tillingham is all about embracing the natural approach; from well-sourced fruit to manual production, spontaneous fermentations and judicious use of additives in the wine. The 2020 vintage marks the first to use fruit from his own organic estate vineyards that have now reached maturity.