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.” 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.’ With this epicness in mind, the Konpira Maru boys have christened this pét-nat ‘Chevaucher l’eclair’, or ‘Ride the Lightning’. A term from the dystopian masterpiece “The Stand” by Stephen King 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 ever), “Ride the Lightning” by Metallica. Now, here it is in its ultimate iteration, the name of the greatest sparkling wine ever made.
As mentioned the fruit hails from the Burder family’s ‘Eminence Vineyard’ in the cold reaches of Whitlands in the King Valley of Victoria. The Whitlands is known as the “river in the sky”. Lava flow from a volcanic eruption in the nearby township Tolmie flowed to create this epic parcel of dirt. Eroded lava flow which has created 30 feet of ferrous, iron rich volcanic top soil. 2,000 feet in elevation, farmed with organic methods with copper and organic sulfur sprays only. This is ‘Champagne’ in grapes only as this is an ethereal ride of sorts.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were handpicked across three day’s time. The fruit was kept cold and pressed extremely lightly to prevent any smoke taint carryover from the ultra-challenging start to 2020 with infernos spread out across Australia prior to the introduction of COVID-19. The fruit was then combined with spent lees from a previous fermentation, which binded the remaining smoke and allowed the acidic beauty of this site to shine. The primary fermentation underwent a lengthy wild yeast ferment in 70% stainless steel and 30% Hungarian oak for seven weeks prior to being interred in bottle at 15 g/L residual sugar and then hand disgorged a month later.