In the glass, a glowing salmon colour with bright orange highlights. On the nose, a complex bouquet of tangerine, gentle spice tones and orange peel is accentuated by smoky undertones. The palate is broad, fresh and pure, with suggestions of poached apricot, mandarin orange peel and grilled nuts. A vinous, creamy rose blessed with substantial richness and depth.
A fascinating feature of sparkling wines is that to release one is to travel back in time to reconnect with our consciousness and intention of that time, sometimes as far back as seven years.
For this vintage, we connect back to one of the most pivotal developments in the sparkling wine story of Benjamin Bridge.
First, 2016 was an outstanding vintage, and there appears to be an intriguing sequence separating the best sparkling vintages by a 4-year internal: 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and, from the type of summer we had, 2020 is shaping to be a one-of-a-kind vintage as well. Second, 2016 marked the most significant change in how our sparkling wines are made.
Pre-2016, the grapes were grown and harvested to maximize acidity and freshness. Base wines did not go through malolactic fermentation and were aged exclusively in stainless steel to accentuate brightness.
In contrast, since 2016, the grapes have been grown and harvested to maximize richness and intensity. The base wines are then aged exclusively in oak to promote complex textures, and undergo a full malolactic fermentation for a rounder style better complementing our natural acidity. We’ve learned that this change has not come at the expense of the inherent and celebrated qualities of our terroir but instead makes them part of an even greater whole.
The result? Arguably the most vinous and wine-like sparkling wine we have produced. Smokier and toastier, yet with all the energy and maritime minerality that defines our ecosystem. Most importantly, there is incredible textural depth and richness.