Following the style’s boom in popularity, Selfridges has launched an edit of natural wines. The selection is available in store and online, comprising a selection of wines which use hand-picked grapes, biodynamic farming practices, and no additives or unnatural preservatives. Highlights from the collection include Frank Cornelissen Susucaru Rosato 2020, Forks & Knives 2019, and the Tillingham Col ’19.
Based on a 70-acre farm near Rye in East Sussex, Tillingham is the brainchild of winemaker Ben Walgate who produces natural wines using low-intervention practises used for thousands of years before commercial wine production.
At Tillingham, the brand’s philosophy is summarised as progressive, incorporating scientific and technological knowledge while championing ancient traditions and best practice learnt from millennia of farming and winemaking. The company is also committed to farming in a diverse, poly-cultural way, considered a highly sustainable approach aiming to restore soils to an optimum level of organic matter and microbial and wider ecological diversity.
A style typically related to Prosecco, Tillingham’s Col ‘19 is Col Fondo wine, literally meaning “with the bottom”. To produce Col Fondo, the sediment (or lees) are present in the wine rather than being filtered out, ultimately producing a cloudy, funky semi-sparkling wine with a welcome sour note brought on by the natural fermentation.
Produced with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Auxerrois, and Pinot Meunier grapes – with the latter two aged in clay qvevri – Tillingham Col ‘19 is bottled at just nine per cent ABV. With a hazy, pale green-gold complexion, preserved lemon and green apple dominate on the nose, joined by brioche, mint, caramel, and wild yeast aromas. Apple continues on the palate with plenty of zippy lemon sherbet and a fresh gooseberry sourness, plus grapefruit pith, a whisper of salt, and a creamy mouthfeel. Slightly rustic with a great complexity, the palate is medium-long with refreshing sourness and gorgeous effervescence.
Tillingham Col ‘19 is available from Selfridges, £29.99, 750ml.