Top Drops: June 2017

From cider made with English apples to unusually dense grenache, dark brandy to Mornington Peninsula savagnin sous voile, here are June's best drops.

Numbered from top to bottom, left to right.

1. NOBLE FINISH

Gélas De Bortoli Black Noble Finish, Armagnac, France, $220

A collaboration between Australia's De Bortoli winery and Armagnac producer Philippe Gélas, this 16-year-old spirit is finished for 12 months in a barrel that once held De Borts' treacly fortified wine. A dark, rich, complex brandy.
nicks.com.au

2. CROSS COUNTRY

2016 Amato Vino Montepulciano, Riverland, SA, $25

For the past few years Margaret River winemaker Brad Wehr has sourced grapes from the Ricca Terra vineyard in South Australia's Riverland to produce a range of lovely alternative varietal wines such as this juicy, vibrant, pizza-loving red.
amatovino.com.au

3. LIFT THE VEIL

2013 Crittenden Cri de Coeur Savagnin Sous Voile, Mornington Peninsula, Vic, $80

The second release of this vin jaune-inspired white wine - savagnin aged for years in barrel under a layer of flor yeast - is even more outstanding than the first: gorgeous nuttiness and tangy complexity. 
crittendenwines.com.au

4. BOLD BAROSSA

2012 Yalumba The Tri-Centenary Grenache, Barossa Valley, SA, $55

A lot of grenache you'll find is medium-bodied, bouncy, spicy and best drunk young. But this, sourced from really old, low-yielding vines planted in 1889, is deliciously dark, dense, firm and cellar-worthy. 
yalumba.com

5. SAVOURY WHITE

2015 Vinelea Petit Blanc, Beechworth, Vic, $30 

A restrained, gently perfumed, savoury blend of marsanne and roussanne modelled on classic Victorian "white hermitage" of old. A wine to be drunk young with simple fish dishes, or after a few years with richer poultry dishes.
vinelea.com.au

6. BARGAIN RED

2015 Maxwell Little Demon Cabernet Malbec, McLaren Vale, SA, $18 

The great 2015 vintage brings extra depth and taste satisfaction to this already reliably good and consistently great-value red wine with loads of purple berries and grippy tannin. The spicy 2015 Little Demon shiraz grenache is a cracker, too. 
maxwellwines.com.au

7. NEW BEER

Wildflower Amber, Marrickville, NSW, $22 

This funky full-flavoured copper-coloured cloudy ale comes from a new brewery in Sydney and is unusual in using a blend of Belgian saison yeast and wild yeasts and bacteria harvested from foraged native plants around NSW.
wildflowerbeer.com

8. FITTING TRIBUTE

2013 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity, Margaret River, WA, $160 

When Dr Thomas Cullity planted the first commercial vineyard in Margaret River in 1967 he helped kick-start one of Australia's great wine regions. Fifty years later, this beautiful, elegant, age-worthy new cabernet blend is named in his honour.
vassefelix.com.au

9. NEW CIDER

Denmark Heritage Cider Company Blend 16 Scrumpy, Great Southern, WA, $17.50 

If you've been to England's West Country you might have drunk a pint of still, strong, dry, golden cider. This is similar, made from proper English cider apples such as Yarlington Mill and brown snout, grown in WA.
realcider.net

10. SHIMMERING SHIRAZ

2015 Wild Duck Creek Estate Springflat Shiraz, Heathcote, Vic, $55

Wild Duck Creek has a cult reputation for super-rich, super-dark, powerful reds, but this shiraz, from a great vintage, is showing beautiful subtleties, too: fragrant, peppery spice and shimmering tannin and masses of bold black fruit.
wildduckcreekestate.com.au


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