Swinging Bridge is one of the leading producers in Orange.
They have built a formidable reputation for releasing top value for money cool climate wines, Chardonnay, arguably their best varietal.
This is their 2012 ‘G&A’ Blanc de Blancs. Made from some of their best Chardonnay fruit in the cool parts of their vineyard.
Tom Ward is a dab hand at this variety, and for a wine made to honour the matriarchs of his family, he has taken extra care with this great value release. This spent two and a half years on lees as the wine built texture and depth. It’s damn fine drinking.
The ‘G&A’ is beautifully presented and an absolute steal for lovers of leaner, more complex styles of bubbles.
Bring on the festive season!
What It Tastes Like
Virtually dry but the sweetness just takes the edge off. 4g of residual doesn’t sound like a lot but it just fills out the mid-palate a little. Smart choice. Great acid. Honeysuckle and brioche characters. Tight bead and nice mousse. A creaminess through the palate. Lime, citrus blossom, mandarins. A chalkiness too. All up, down right delicious.
92 points “Bright, light yellow hue and a fresh, clean, honey and peach-like chardonnay-driven aroma. Meringue and iced pastries too. It’s light, crisp and dry in the mouth. Very fine and very stylish.”
- Huon Hooke
91 points. “Chardonnay from the famed Balmoral vineyard which sits at 890 metres above sea level. Base wines are made at Swinging Bridge, it’s finished off elsewhere. Holds four grams residual sugar.
Creamy, frothy, bright and fresh sparkling wine with crunchy acidity and dryer feel. Scents of green apple, herbs, wet river pebbles. Has a juciness, vibrancy, then it pulls tight into a chalky finish. Delicious, clean, vibrant to drink.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
The new Swinging Bridge Blanc de Blancs is a sparkling wine made from Orange region Chardonnay. It has been named in honour of the matriachs of the Ward family.
This sparkling was made in the traditional method, with the secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Winemaking: The Chardonnay grapes were harvested in the cool of the night to retain their freshness. After the initial fermentation, the base wine underwent its secondary fermentation in the bottle along with 30 months maturation in order to build complexity, structure and texture.
Vineyard: Block H, Balmoral Vineyard, Orange NSW.
Elevation: 870 metres.
Variety: Chardonnay 100%
Region: Orange, NSW.
Colour: Light golden colour with a fine persistent bead.
Aroma: The aromas are characteristic of sparkling made solely from Chardonnay; floral and citrus with the complexity of yeast lees.
Palate: The palate has beautiful structure with a fine bead, cool climate fruit and maturation in the bottle. It is balanced with great depth of flavour.
Cellaring: Enjoy upon release and over the next 5+ years.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until:
About the Producer
Swinging Bridge is one of Orange’s most exciting boutique producers. Owned by Tom Ward, who also heads up the New South Wales Wine Association, they are pumping out some fantastic cool climate wines, that all punch well above their weight.
The wine scene in Orange is alive and kicking. With each vintage that passes the bar of quality is raised again and again. Pinot Noir is a potential champion for the region but for now Shiraz, Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet are the flag bearers. The cool climate and the high altitude vineyards are producing wines of finesse and class and there is some ripping value to be had in this region.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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