As perhaps the only Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Tannat blend made in Australia (the world?), this piques one’s curiosity simply because of what it is. Such a blend might scream “left overs” to some, but this is Topper’s Mountain’s flagship red blend, which in itself signals a seriousness of intent. The project here, as was discussed in my review of the 2009, is to create the best blend possible in any given year from the Topper’s Mountain vineyard. The approach is appropriately responsive – this blend bears little resemblance to the earlier wine in its varietal composition.
And, indeed, there are marked sensory differences too. This is a bright, fragranced wine, the aroma infusing one’s senses with tea leaf, red fruit, brown spice and the sort of intensely aromatic florals that suggest eucalypts rather than anything more exotic. There’s quite a lot going on in fact, the whole light and transparent. It’s a nice wine to smell.
In the mouth, the wine’s light weight and high toned flavours are immediately evident. This is such a delicate wine, with more red fruit and spice winding their way around fine acid and subtle tannin. Yes, despite Nebbiolo and Tannat in the mix, this doesn’t come across as especially tannic, though the tannins present are fine and ripe, more velvet than grain. For me, this wine’s pleasures centre on its gentle, savoury flavours — which are surprisingly intense — and a general sense of effortlessness.
Another interesting entry in the Red Earth Child project, then, if not one inclined to call attention to itself.