Top Drops: October 2017

As the thermometer moves northward, we're drifting towards Leclerc Briant Champagne, albarino to pair with seafood and top-notch Tasmanian pinot noir.

1. RED FOR THE AGES

2013 Campbells The Barkly Durif, Rutherglen, $54

Yes, the durif grape can produce big reds, but the best examples, like this, from one of the region's most seasoned durif makers, combine power with cellarworthy poise and elegance. campbellswines.com.au

2. ISLAND LIFE

2016 Chatto Isle Pinot Noir, Tasmania, $75

Brilliant pinot, in every sense of the word: gorgeous, bright crimson colour, full of snappy, juicy red berries, but with enough brooding sinewy tannin to keep it alive in the cellar. chattowines.com

3. PALE PINK

2017 Vigna Cantina Rosato di Sangiovese, Eden Valley, $25

Don't be fooled by the delicate hue. This is pink wine with plenty of savoury flavour and terrific tangy, mouth-tingling freshness. It pairs wonderfully well with char-grilled fish. torzimatthews.com.au

4. THINKING DRINKING

2010 Tedeschi Capitel Monte Olmi, Amarone della Vapolicella, $217

One of the best examples of amarone - vino di meditazione - I've ever tasted (and I've tasted lots): stunningly rich, pure black cherries, wrapped in layers of chewy tannin. Imported by enoteca.com.au

5. NEW WHITE

2017 Margan Albarino, Hunter Valley, $30

Grown miles from the sea, but exactly the kind of white you want when there's seafood on the table. Crisp and tangy and refreshing, it has lovely succulent melon fruit flavours that linger on the palate. margan.com.au

6. RIESLING TIME

2011 Tim Adams Reserve Riesling, Clare Valley, $29

This is an extremely reasonable price to pay for a classic Clare riesling with five years' bottle age. Still fresh and lime-juicy, but beginning to fill out with toasty, savoury richness. timadamswines.com.au

7. FINE CHAMPAGNE

Leclerc Briant Brut Réserve, Épernay, $90

The Champagnes of Leclerc Briant, now available in Australia, deserve to be widely known. I love the fresh fruit and finesse in this non-vintage; the Brut Rosé and 2007 Millésime are also superb. Imported by frenchvine.com.au


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