Happy New Year! Here's hoping you are suitably refreshed and in the mood for something different, something bracing, something fresh...
Here's a tip for you. Tillingham in East Sussex are the English wine estate to watch. By now we all know that England can produce serious sparkling wines t0 rival Champagne. There is no shortage of stories in the press about the latest blind tasting that has the French quaking in their boots, scrambling to buy up the South Downs before climate change catches up with them.
This is no longer surprising, but Tillingham is. Everything about this project is a little different. The emphasis on biodynamics, the natural, no sulphur approach, the experiments with qvevri as a fermentation vessel, even the bold branding - it all adds up to something English wine hasn't seen before. And the wines work. They really work.
Col'18 is the result of a combination of the best harvest in English wine history, Ben Walgate's winemaking talent and the Tillingham approach. It is an ancestral method sparkling wine, meaning it undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle (like Champagne) but is then left undisgorged. It is a classic blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, but fermented with only wild yeasts (partially in third-fill Burgundy barrels), and with no sulphur additions at any stage.
Col'18 is not only a beautiful drink, but a revelation for English wine. It is golden and slightly hazy, with soft, small bubbles and a gorgeous palate of baked apples backed up with wonderful freshness. It really has to be tried.
We shipped a few bottles before Christmas just to try and it was so wonderful we are going straight ahead with a new order. Get in there now - please don't miss it.