“Some moments in life contain truly cruel twists of fate. This wine is one of them. It is a complete triumph… looks sexy, tastes sexy, was bottled by a squad of very sexy people. But when you have already called a wine ‘Total Victory’ this vintage it is probably a tad supercilious to call another one “Total and Utter Victory.” Well so I have been told, anyway. So how does one describe the moment of genesis of something so exquisite, hewn from the wild beauty of the Eminence Vineyard atop the Whitlands Plateau? One possible moment with a comparable level of majesty could be the birth of Monkey Magic, surely the greatest introduction to any TV show ever aside from Charles in Charge.
Primal chaos reigned, Heaven sought order.
But the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown.
The four worlds formed again and yet again,
As endless aeons wheeled and passed.
Time and the pure essences of Heaven,
The moistures of the Earth,
And the powers of the Sun and the Moon
All worked upon a certain rock – old as Creation,
And it magically became fertile.
That first egg was named Thought,
Tathagata Buddha, the Father Buddha,
Said, ‘With our thoughts we make the world.’
Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch,
from it then came a stone Monkey.
The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!
With this epicness in mind we have christened this pet nat Chevaucher l’eclair, or ‘Ride the Lightning’. A term from the dystopian masterpiece The Stand by Stephen King (‘No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.’) and then commandeered for the title of the greatest thrash album of all time (and second only to Abbey Road in the list of greatest albums of all time), Ride the Lightning, Metallica. Now, here it is in its ultimate iteration, the name of the greatest sparkling wine ever made.
Pinot noir (40%), Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Meunier (20%) from the Burder family’s Eminence Vineyard.
Pressed to just 50% extraction (500l per tonne of grapes) to prevent smoke carryover, then combined with yeast hulls to bind the remaining smoke and allowing the acidic beauty of the site to shine through. It underwent an extended wild ferment (30% in new Hungarian oak, 70% stainless steel) for 7 weeks before being finally interred in bottle at 15g residual grape sugar and then disgorged one month later by a team of the nicest hospo crew you could ever assemble. 13% abv. 5720 bottles made. “