Topper’s Mountain Tempranillo 2010

They’re an interesting bunch at Topper’s Mountain. Working in a — to put it kindly — low profile region, this estate produces a vast array of wines that start at familiar and end at unique (I’m not aware of any other spontaneously and barrel fermented Petit Mansengs being made in Australia, though I’m sure my knowledgeable readership will correct me if I’m wrong). Indeed, there seems to be plenty of experimentation going on, and the quality can be high.

This shows a cuddlier side of Tempranillo. It’s not all savouriness and structure; instead, we get cherry fruit, cola and spice. There’s a lightfooted generosity to the aroma that I like and, although it’s not especially complex, its flavours are well delineated. Oak makes a slightly spiky contribution.

In the mouth it’s less coherent than it smells, with a few elements jutting out. Acid jangles a bit and collides with a rather voluminous, fruit-driven mid-palate. I wish for more evenly textured tannin to counterbalance the wine’s slippery fruit and complement its savoury flavours. But I’m nit-picking. Mostly, this shoots a nice dollop of flavour onto the tongue, with plenty of red fruit, spice and oak. It’s generous but only medium-bodied and generally easygoing, so shouldn’t overwhelm food.

Topper’s Mountain
Price: $A38
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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