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 2018

    $ 22.00 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 Mrs Payten Chardonnay 2019

    $ 29.00 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.

    This is a style of intensity and generosity. A waxy, almost buttery texture, though this is through lees rather than oak (sees 10 months in tightly grained French barrels). Grapefruit and white peach flavours form the core, over a pleasing flintiness. A nod to the traditional style of Australian chardonnay but keeps a tautness to its frame, and most importantly, high refreshment factor

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  • Swinging Bridge #003 Amber Field Blend 2019

    $ 30.00 incl. GST

    Somebody had to do it… the first orange wine from Orange!  A field blend of the Alsatian varieties Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer, wild fermented, spending four weeks on skins in open top puncheons, and bottled without fining or filtration. Atypical for some styles of orange/skin contact wine, this is super easy to drink, delicious, highly moreish and food friendly, especially with delicate and spicy Asian.

    Quinine/gin and tonic notes, with the Gewurz leading the aromatic charge, super seductive, musky and lifted.  Lovely natural fruit tannin in the mouth, though everything in moreish balance.

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  • Swinging Bridge #004 Barrel Fermented Rose 2019

    $ 30.00 incl. GST

    Without hyperbole, this is a bloody exciting wine.  For our two cents on the matter, this may well be a benchmark as Australia steps toward defining its own style of rosé.  Barrel fermented in seasoned oak, unfined and unfiltered, and bone dry.

    Crunchy red fruits and varietal Pinot characteristics, backed with tangerine and citrus.  Fine fruit tannin and saline underpinnings, almost a bacon note.  Superbly structured, as much a thinker as a drinker.

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  • Swinging Bridge M.A.W. Pinot Noir 2018

    $ 31.00 incl. GST

    Named after Tom’s father, Mark Andrew Ward, who emigrated from the UK to NSW in the 1960s.  This wine combines Pinot clones 114 and 115, and is matured in a combination of small and large French barrels.  Grown in the Rowlee vineyard, 910 metres above sea level.

    Bright, complex and attractive, maintaining Pinosity throughout.  Glossy cherry and plum fruit, with a little whole bunch providing some sappiness and contrast.  Acidity is perky and refreshing, and the tannins fine and silky.

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  • Swinging Bridge #006 ‘Tempinot’ Tempranillo Pinot Blend 2018

    $ 31.00 incl. GST

    A nod to the Shiraz Pinot blends of the Hunter Valley; what could be a unique take on such blending to Orange?  Blending trials showed this as a fun style indeed. 72% Tempranillo and 28% Pinot, it has the hedonistic hit of fruitcake and dark chocolate provided by Temp, though freshness and fruit is the theme with Pinot the bedfellow.  Along the lines of a joven/nouveau style, a fun and juicy red to be glugged in wine bars with grazing plates, or would make a super classy barbecue red.

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  • Swinging Bridge Reserve Chardonnay Block A 2017

    $ 51.00 incl. GST

    Selected from the best barrels, from the best block of the best vineyard.  Wild fermented in barrel.  Take it away Mike B:

    “It’s sourced from a single block from the Balmoral Vineyard, and best barrels of that single block are selected for this wine. Winemaker Tom Ward is looking for a tighter style, overall. It’s about 30% new oak.

    Fresh cut stone fruit, flint, green apple, grapefruit, whiff of nougat and cashew. It’s a beautiful, come-hither chardonnay perfume here. Restrained, trim, just crisp, shows green apple and saline acidity with gentle slip of texture. Elegant, restrained, fine. This is very good chardonnay.” 94+ points, Mike Bennie, www.winefront.com.au

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