Topper’s Mountain Barrel Aged Gewurztraminer 2015
This is the best Gewurz in Australia. Top of the list. King of the hill. A number one…
What’s even better is how unlikely it is. An unheralded region (and one of the nation’s youngest), from a vineyard planted to a whole smorgasbord of grapes, and a maligned variety. I think the success of the Topper’s Gewurz even surprised vigneron Mark Kirby. It was meant to be.
One caveat – I am a flag-waving Gewurz fan. This intriguing grape has been bastardised over many years, but in its most classic form, the aromatic and phenolic slippery dip of Gewurz is just fantastic. Sadly, you just don’t see it respected all that often.
Even at Topper’s you can see that they’re still tinkering with the variety, with this wine only the second released of a ‘barrel style’ Gewurz. Combine that newness with vintage variation and you’ve got potential for sweet and sour lychee juice. But none of that here – this is delicious wine.
As ever, the aromatic appeal is immense. Musk is the driver, alongside stonefruit (maybe apricot or peach) skins, before a palate that is crisp and dry, yet not awkward. Nor is it overly backward, which is the temptation with Gewurz – pick it early, work to preserve the aromatics in the winery and then use residual sugar to give weight. Instead, the fruit is riper, the palate given breadth by barrel influences, and a phenolic zipper pulling things together.
I like this. The push-pull of firm acidity and fruits aplenty works. I like how it sings its variety, yet finishes crisp. Sure, I get that most people won’t love it, but I’m a fan, and I genuinely like drinking it. Best drinking: 2016-2020. 18/20, 93/100. 13.8%, $35. Would I buy it? I’d drink a bottle on my own.