Swinging Bridge / Orange, Nsw

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A Defining Estate In The Emerging, High Altitude Region Of Orange, Nsw

Swinging Bridge was established in 1995 by Tom and Georgie Ward with their extended family, and has been under Tom and Georgie’s full stewardship since 2008. Now one of Orange’s leading and most noted producers, Swinging Bridge are pushing boundaries with experimental small batch wines (the #00s) complementing a solid offering of noble varietals from the region’s high altitude vineyards.

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  • Swinging Bridge Pinot Gris 2022

    $ 23.00 incl. GST

    Treading the line between Gris and Grigio style, this is an easy drinker with a poke of spice and complexity.  Limited skin contact gives clarity of appearance, though the palate is fleshed out with a small portion of the wine matured in old French oak.  It’s all apple and spiced pear, with some creaminess in the texture derived from time on lees.  Closes with decent length and complexity of texture.

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  • Swinging Bridge Shiraz 2021

    $ 23.00 incl. GST

    Winemaker Tom Ward isn’t one to overstate things, so when he told us his Shiraz was worth a look we knew we should pay attention. Considering its price level, this is an incredibly classy and sophisticated wine. Evoking the great cool climate Shirazes of France, it’s got beautiful flow and feel, delivering pepper and spice, blackberry and blue fruits, twigs and charcuterie meats. Has left many a taster guessing a much higher price point.

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  • Swinging Bridge #006 ‘Tempinot’ Tempranillo Pinot Blend 2022

    $ 34.00 incl. GST

    90% Tempranillo and 10% Pinot Noir.  Raised in seasoned oak, this blend is the result of Tom feeling the Tempranillo lacked mid palate weight, as well as a cheeky nod to the Hunter Valley’s historic Pinot/Shiraz blends.  Fresh and lithe, a lovely bistro/tapas wine or high class BBQ red.

    “Of the Hashtag series, the #003 Amber is probably my favourite, but the whole range is tasty and of good value. Under #006 hides Tempinot, you guessed it, Tempranillo and around 10% Pinot Noir because why not. I find it a bit challenging to discover great examples of Tempranillo out there. It seems Pinot gives a helping hand here.

    Violets and kola nut, marshmallow root, sandy tannin, purple perfume in the mouth and savoury beetroot juice. This drinks easy and very tasty. Moreish. Tempranillo done well.” 92 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

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  • Swinging Bridge #003 Amber Field Blend 2022

    $ 34.00 incl. GST

    50% Riesling, 45% Pinot Gris, 5% Gewurztraminer, fermented separately with 30 days skin contact.  The wine that started the experimental series when a Sydney retailer asked Tom to make ‘An orange wine from Orange’.

    “Subtitled Orange Region Amber. I like that. This is Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling blend.

    It has a pale copper tinge of Pinot Gris skins, Gewurztraminer-led perfume notes and unmistakable Riesling acidity. Sounds and tastes like a good combo. And it is. Very pretty. All lifted but reserved aromas; rose petals, mandarine skin, musk and cherry blossoms. More: almond essence, fennel and peaches. Delicate texture with talcum powder squeak and sparkle, all driven by firm but not offensive acidity. Plenty of detail. I like that the perfume is just enough, not overly confectionery. It’s an amber wine that embodies some attractive traits of a light, savoury rose.” 92 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

     

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  • Swinging Bridge Mrs Payten Chardonnay 2022

    $ 34.00 incl. GST

    This is where things get serious for Orange – Chardonnay is a style of excellence here. One of the region’s earliest plantings is the Balmoral vineyard at an elevation of 1050 metres, famed for the great Rosemount chardonnays of the 1990s. Mrs Payten is Tom’s grandmother, with this wine first released in 2012 to commemorate her 90th birthday.

    Wild fermented with 20% new French oak.  With the spectrum of Australian Chardonnay ranging from lean, acid driven and flinty to richer and more worked, this is truly a ‘why not both’ option; high altitude growing bringing a refreshing acid spine and lees stirring and the oak component giving richness.  A true crowd pleaser.

    This is an ‘entry-level’ Chardonnay from Tom Ward. Good value for money.

    It smells like Chardonnay and it’s a good thing. That is, it has all the textbook Chardonnay features and you’re happy. It’s just ripe, a touch reductive, sweet milk powder, melon, cinnamon apple and peppermint. Complete picture Chardonnay. The palate is lean, fresh and salty, crisp and slippery. Green apple and lime tart with a pinch of salt finish. This is hitting the spot. Instantly enjoyable.”  91 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

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  • Swinging Bridge MAW Pinot Noir 2022

    $ 34.00 incl. GST

    Named after Tom’s father, Mark Andrew Ward, this bright and expressive Pinot combines seven clones, fully destemmed, and is matured in a  combination of small and large French oak barrels, 20% new.

    “Crispy, crunchy, bright and red-fruited define this wine. It’s full of cherries and cranberries. Flint. Wet forest floor. With a red flower element–briar rose, yes. Fresh herbs, peppermint and thyme, caraway seeds. This wine has prevalent freshness, like cool air after the rain. Tart, red-skin acidity and tannins vibrate long through the palate, soothing with a cool aftertaste. It’s all very fresh and not highly complex (no need) but pure in its form and honest. Lovely.” 92 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

     

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  • Swinging Bridge #008 ‘FrancRaz’ Cabernet Franc Shiraz 2022

    $ 34.00 incl. GST

    The result of an experimental blending session, the second release of this cuvée.  Both varieties are cold soaked for three days before starting fermentation and are vinified separately before blending.  Kept eight months in seasoned puncheons.

    “#008 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Shiraz – FrancRaz… I’ll stick with #006 ‘Tempinot’ and will say a polite -no- to ‘FrancRaz’. The wine is good, though!

    Raspberries, red currants, bramble, crushed twigs. It’s a little thin in the mid-palate, but fresh, leafy, herbal with pomegranate tang and a tart red plum. Pink peppercorn aroma tops the lot. Easy to like and drink. Joyous.”

    90 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

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  • Swinging Bridge Caldwell Lane Block A Chardonnay 2021

    $ 52.00 incl. GST

    Calwell Lane was originally the Balmoral Vineyard planted by Rosemount.  An electrically charged top flight expression, it certainly shows the step up.  Barrel fermented and matured nine months in French hogsheads, 20% new.

    “Single vineyard expression from a cool-er year in Orange, grown at 900m.

    There’s a vegetal element in this wine, parsley root, fennel, crushed rocks that add nice savoury/earthy element. But also you get glazed almonds, fleshy melon, white peach, subtle nutmeg and the sweetness that comes with baking spice. Nougat too. Acidity is very fresh, elevated, limey with a green apple twist. It’s a very pretty, clean expression with lots of freshness. Flavours are invigorating with a hint of sour cream, lime curd type of fluffy texture in the mid-palate and yellow grapefruit to finish. Fine and detailed wine.” 93 points, Kasia Sobiesek, Winefront

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