Another fantastic result from an experimental vinification at Tillingham. Playing with the style of infusion, here purple-skinned Pinot Gris bunches seep their pigment and tannins into direct-pressed juice. Some of the wine is raised in barrel to round it out. Lucid amber in colour. A nose of rosewater, orange and bergamot is enveloped by a gentle tea-like tannic structure. Cassia bark and grippy pomegranate intertwine on a persistent 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.