Topper's Mountain Wild Ferment Pinotage Viognier 2012
I really do look forward to the Topper's Mountain wines now. You can just guarantee that every new wine will have character and interest, even if some releases can feel more like experiments (from an occasionally marginal climate) than natural successes. The interest far outweighs the failures these days though.
This red blend is a case in point. Produced from two varieties that I've not had together, this shines a very positive light on Australian Pinotage. Almost too positive (sorry Pinotage).
Co-fermented on skins, this spent a seriously huge 24 months in barrel. Doesn't show it either. A tiny 893 bottles produced.
Maroon red with purple edges. Lovely purple juiciness on the nose - blackberry and boysenberry meets the undergrowth of Pinotage. There's hums of Primitivo like savoury herbs too. The palate starts off with juiciness of fruit, before fanning out into a very bitter, slightly warm palate that flirts with under and over ripeness. There's a real substantial intensity to this, even despite the bitter, slightly green edge. Low yields and serious viticulture (as I would expect).
Good, interesting red now, if not an easy slurp. The world needs more wine like this.
Details: 14.5%, Screwcap, $32CD
Tasted: May 2015 (sample)
Best drinking: 2015-2020
Score: 17/20, 90/100
Would I buy it? Not quite, but I still appreciate it.
Buy online: Toppers Mountain website