Topper’s Mountain new releases
Tonight I have the new releases from Topper’s Mountain on the bench, with both wines again showcasing the blinding intensity that this fine New England producer is famous for (and great packaging too).
Actually, the only hurdle to the success of these unusually detailed, acid driven wines is that the styles and blends don’t quite feel complete, with winemaker Mike Hayes and vigneron Mark Kirby still fiddling in the quest for greatness.
Regardless, I can’t praise the varietal intensity of these wines enough. It’s rare in an Australian context to see such definition and liveliness each and every year, especially given that the vineyard is in a marginal climate on the spine of the Great Dividing Range at 900m altitude (actually rain has interrupted the pick just this week, with the 2014 Nebbiolo harvest under threat).
Topper’s Mountain Gewurztraminer 2013 (New England, NSW)
$35, Screwcap, 12.8%
Classic essence of Gewurtz nose – piercing, earth shattering detail, complete with musk and lychee fruit notes without ever looking overripe. What a stunning nose! Near perfect even. But the palate is just too dry. Achingly acidic even with the sort of spine-tingling, enamel stripping natural acidity that many makers require boatloads of tartaric to emulate. It ultimately makes for a very refreshing package, but a brutally dry one too, without quite the flesh to really back it up. I do wonder if a little malo would be useful here? Still, remarkable length and that nose is absolute perfection. Remarkable wine in context.
$38, Screwcap, 13.4%
An intriguing, distinctively regional wine, it took me a while to warm to this, but gee there is charisma aplenty. A wine to admire, if perhaps a divisive drink.