Tasting Chardonnay a little differently.
Sussex : Chardonnay
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Chardonnay 2020 - Tillingham
Pale gold in colour with aromas of fresh nuts, with underlying undeniable minerality from this perfect white wine. Think waxy lime zest acidity which carries the wine into a broad and textural finish. The chardonnay here is birthed from heavier soils but any of this richness is kept in line with well balanced acidity. Simply put a wonderfully textural wine by Ben Walgate, Tillingham. Whole bunch pressed straight to stainless steel, fermented at ambient temperature. After alcoholic fermentation divided in to two batches for malolactic fermentation. The first one was put to barrel and the second one remained in stainless steel. 8 months aging on lees in the respective vessels. Racked and blended in stainless steel and bottled by gravity with a small sulfur addition.
Tillingham is based near Rye on 70 acres of rolling East Sussex hills. Progressive and but rooted in ancient traditions champions a biodynamic way of farming that is grounded in sustainability.
The project, founded by farmer and winemaker Ben Walgate and begun in 2017, makes use of the diverse crop the farm is home to; vineyards, fruit trees, woodland and livestock. This range is a constant source of creativity for Tillingham, best showcased in the farm's 'Field Blends'. Elsewhere the wines produced on the farm are more familiar but all with a quality that Walgate can only describe as "Tillingham-y".
While much of their uniqueness is in the produce, Tillingham's dedication to craftsmanship and instinctive experimental processes, using for example spontaneous fermentation or barefoot treading, entertains risk for results that are being incredibly well-received. It's these practices that transform traditional grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir into Tillingham wines.
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