Benjamin Bridge Riesling 2018

Canada, Nova Scotia
90 WA
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
Region Gaspereau Valley
Producer Benjamin Bridge
Vintage 2018
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
Region Gaspereau Valley
Producer Benjamin Bridge
Vintage 2018
Color White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 9.5%
Product Code D001W00218
UPC 69555500053
Inventory In Stock (60)
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

In the glass, a pale gold colour with a bright emerald hue. On the nose, hints of key lime and beeswax are amplified by light chamomile undertones. On the palate, a myriad of zesty citrus notes expands into a richer texture with lingering suggestions of fresh green apples and tart cherries. A lively and energizing wine providing refreshment and thirst-quenching drinkability.

Service Temp: 11°C


A perfect match for battered fish tacos with a touch of spice, lobster mac ‘n cheese, or grilled root vegetables with goat cheese.

The 2017 Benjamin Bridge riesling presents a curious combination of tart and ripe, soft and sharp, creamy lees and incisive lime flavours off the top, all based on a 9.5% alcohol frame, light and lithe, lively and fleshy. Yet depth of flavour is quite exceptional, and though a little loose on the oxidative spectrum, it, wraps up nice and tight on the end. There' genuine quality behind this, but drink shortly in any case. Tasted August 2019. (90 points, John Szabo, MS)


What if the hallmarks of great Rieslings happened to align with the most fundamental qualities of Nova Scotia wines: low in alcohol and refreshing — energized by natural acidity — and, more importantly, an ageing ability measured in decades. Since 2012, we have been exploring the many facets of this innate synergy, culminating in a 2016 vintage that is electric yet enticing even in its infancy.

A real sponge for terroir, Riesling is a vinifera varietal that transparently conveys the uniqueness of specific sites, prompting us to assemble a harmonious cuvée crafted from four parcels along the Bay of Fundy, all blessed with distinct soils and tidal microclimates. To accentuate the singular yet unifying qualities specific to these sites, the wines were wild fermented, relying on indigenous yeast strains from the unique sites to allow for the natural expression of each vineyard.


Producer Description

In just over two short decades, Benjamin Bridge has distinguished itself as Canada's premier sparkling wine house.

An ambitious and visionary project, in 1999, Gerry McConnell and, his late wife, Dara Gordon purchased land in the Gaspereau Valley with the bold vision to create a world-class winery that would reflect an unconditional commitment to producing spectacular wines. At that time, the Nova Scotia wine industry had only a few wineries with widely varied wine portfolios, so they sought expertise from outside the region to assess the potential for terroir-driven wines in Nova Scotia. In 2000, leading winery consultant and international winemaker, Peter J. Gamble, was engaged as wine consultant with his partner, winemaker Ann Sperling; that year, land was cleared, tiled and subsoil was fractured in preparation for the first plantings.

After significant research, they recommended Benjamin Bridge develop a specialized wine portfolio by exploring the potential to produce classic method sparkling wines and brisk, aromatic whites. Upon the recommendation of Peter Gamble and Tom Stevenson, the world’s foremost Champagne authority, Gerry and Dara contacted leading Champagne oenologist Raphaël Brisbois, former chef de cave for the legendary Piper Heidsieck. Raphaël agreed to tour and assess the vineyards and the region, and after tasting tremendous potential agreed to consult, until his recent passing in late summer 2013. In 2002, the first experimental sparkling wines were made; seven different cuvées in all, in order to better understand the terroir, the varieties, the structure and the aromatics. Subsequent cuvées followed in succession with the exception of 2006, when a devastating winter (minus 26.5 degrees Celsius) struck the Gaspereau Valley. In view of the minimal size of the traditional vinifera harvest, the company elected not to make a classic method sparkling wine in 2006. To date, approximately 40 acres have been planted to grape vines. Gerry and Dara wholeheartedly supported the organic approach advised by the Gamble/Sperling team, and from the outset, the vineyard advanced quickly to full organic certification. More than half of the plantings is devoted to vinifera grapes (primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, but also some Sauvignon Blanc for still winemaking). After the purchase of an additional 60+ acres of farmland adjacent to the current estate in 2013, the estate will grow to 75 acres of vineyard by 2018. Since 2009 Benjamin Bridge has also worked with a select number of local grape growers who share its passion for and dedication to quality in the vineyard.

In 2008, Benjamin Bridge head winemaker, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers, joined the winery and, from there, began crafting its sparkling and still wine vintages, in consultation with Peter and Raphaël. These wines include Nova 7, an off-dry, slightly effervescent white wine that has become the top selling white wine in Nova Scotia, outpacing all domestic and international offerings. Nova 7 has been coined Nova Scotia’s “iconic wine”, becoming the first Nova Scotia wine to be listed in Ontario and available across Canada. In August 2012, Benjamin Bridge’s 2004 Brut Reserve and 2004 Blanc de Noirs were tasted in a comparative blind tasting with 2004 Cristal and 2005 David Léclapart L’Apôtre Blanc de Blanc with leading Canadian wine writers in Toronto, Ontario. Both Tony Aspler and Konrad Ejbich reported nationally that the majority of the attendees – themselves included - ranked the Benjamin Bridge sparkling ahead of the highly rated prestige Champagne. Regarding the excellent Benjamin Bridge showing, Ejbich further commented “A one point spread may not seem like a lot, but when you’re comparing the best of Old World wines with New World wines, it does matter. In some minds, it’s seismic.” Wine writer/participant Ed Finstein declared Benjamin Bridge sparkling as “Canada’s best bubbly” and “amazing sparkling wine that can rival any top cuvee of Champagne.” Sparkling wine production volumes, in the range of 1,200 bottles per annum during the company’s initial years, have grown slowly as the company’s vineyard plantings continue to expand; 10,000 bottles from the 2012 harvest were cellared for future release. In recent years, Oz Clarke, one of Britain’s most famous wine writers, declared: “Benjamin Bridge is the new Canadian sparkler star.” And John Szabo, Canada’s first and only Master Sommelier, declared, “I’m confident in stating that this [‘05 Brut Reserve] is very likely the finest sparkling wine to have yet been issued from Canadian soil”.

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