The latest wine to emerge from the qvevri down at the Tillingham farm in East Sussex. Pale green-gold in colour. Aromatic on the nose with notes of greengage and kaffir lime leaf which reflect on the palate. Linear acidity combines with a dry grip, whilst characters of melon and lemongrass endure. A great example of wine made on home soils that takes its cues from the ancient methods of Georgia - not something you come across every day!
This wine consists of three varieties: Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Auxerrois. The Pinot Blanc was whole bunch pressed and fermented in large Qvevri. The Chardonnay and Auxerrois both had skin contact for four days and were then fermented in Qvevri with a small percentage of skins. After six months, racked and transferred to old Burgundy barriques and a Stockinger puncheon.
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.