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Top Drops: July 2017

From cider brandy with hints of toffee to a rare verdelho harvested from a 1930s vineyard, here are our picks for the top drops to enjoy this July.

Numbered from top to bottom, left to right. 

1. RARE TREAT

Bleasdale 16 Year Old Rare Verdelho, Langhorne Creek, $69 for 500ml

A fantastic taste of Australian fortified wine history: verdelho harvested from a vineyard planted in 1930, in a barrel for 16 years before blending and bottling. Rich, tangy flavours of dark caramel and tangy Seville marmalade. Wow.
bleasdale.com.au

 

2. HEAVENLY RIESLING

2015 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Riesling, Mosel, $104

From one of the best vineyards, made by one of the best producers, in one of the best recent vintages in the Mosel, this is simply exquisite, eminently age-worthy riesling: rose petals and spice, focused and precise, endless perfumed aftertaste.
bibendum.com.au

 

3. SITE SPECIFIC

2015 Mount Majura Little Dam Tempranillo, Canberra District, $45

This is my pick of three single-block bottlings from Mount Majura's nine-hectare tempranillo vineyard: it's the one that, for me, shows the most varietal character - ample fleshy black cherry fruit, tongue-hugging supply tannin, some floral lift.
mountmajura.com.au

 

4. FLYING HIGH

2015 Wedgetail Estate Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, $42

From a small vineyard up in the higher country on the north-east edge of the Yarra Valley, this lovely chardonnay has wonderful complex flavours of grilled hazelnuts, white peach and a touch of butterscotch. Terrific with grilled lobster.
wedgetailwines.com.au

 

5. LONG HAUL

2012 Huntington Estate Block Three Cabernet Sauvignon, Mudgee, $65

I've tasted a few old Huntington cabernets over the years; they develop a wonderful shiitake and soy richness in the cellar. This, from the best block of old vines, is black fruity and firm now, but is sure to head down that savoury path.
huntingtonestate.com.au

 

6. KING BROWN

Cavalier Brown Ale, Derrimut, $5 for 330ml

The Cavalier brewery in Melbourne has recently revamped its look, but the quality of its traditional beer remains. This is one of my faves: a mellow, nutty, dangerously easy-to-drink brown ale that's crying out for cheese and onion crisps.
cavalierbeer.com.au

 

7. NORMAN INVASION

2015 Cyril Zangs Cidre Brut, Normandy, $34

Ever since I first tasted this outstanding example of the rich, fragrant, golden, Normandy-style cider a few years ago on a trip to Europe, I've been hoping someone would start importing it. Now, at last, my prayers have been answered.
realwines.com.au

 

8. SKIN CONTACT

2016 Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris on Skins, Mornington Peninsula, $38

Another addition to the growing band of delicious copper-hued wines made by fermenting pinot gris on skins. The pretty perfume of flowers and red fruit is offset by a silky grip of
tannin on the tongue: drink cool rather than chilled.
moorooducestate.com.au 

 

9. PIONEER SPIRIT

Charles Oates Single Cask Fine Apple Brandy, Huon Valley, $120 for 350ml

Named after one of the early settlers of Tassie's Huon Valley, this beautiful cider brandy was matured in a small barrel that once held muscat: flavours of muscovado and toffee swirl through the intense apple characters of the spirit.
charlesoates.com.au

 

10. CLEAR CHOICE

2016 Pittnauer Pitt Nat, Burgenland, $48

While many pét-nats can be funky and cloudy (as a result of finishing fermentation in the bottle), some are remarkably fine, clean and fruity - like this one. Bring on the smoked salmon
blinis.
cellarhand.com.au

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