Top Drops: August 2017

Zinfandel from David Hohnen and a rare pinot from Bass Phillip made our August short list, as did an exciting new gruner veltliner and a red blend from New South Wales.

Numbered from left to right, top to bottom.


2016 Atwill's Grüner Veltliner, Adelaide Hills, $30

Ooh, I love the way this white Austrian grape is living up to its potential in cooler, higher spots Down Under: this example, from a small new producer in the Hills, is thrilling and citrusy but has lovely rich grape-pulpy texture, too.


2016 Lime Kiln Point Pinot Noir, Tasmania, $27

This is the inaugural wine in the new second-label range from Derwent Estate and it's cracking value if you're a fan of lighter-bodied, super-fresh, gluggable pinot. Drink it a wee bit chilled with chunky pork terrine and toast.


2014 André Bonhomme Viré Clessé Les Pierres Blanches, Burgundy, $42

If you're partial to fine white Burgundy, you'll know that prices have crept up. This one is great value: gorgeous, seductive floral aromas, rich fruit and deep mineral complexity.
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Usher Tinkler Mr T's Rare Batch Fortified Liqueur, Hunter Valley, 375ml, $45

Almost worth it for the packaging alone with its chunky bottle and Gaudy retro label, but the wine's fabulous, too: tangy, nutty fortified verdelho, both luscious and fresh.


2014 McHenry Hohnen Hazel's Zinfandel, Margaret River, $60

Few people have as much experience making zin in Australia as David Hohnen; it shows here in the balance of jangly pepper spice and bouncy blackberries.


2015 Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, $45

The first 100 per cent cabernet from Wynns Coonawarra Estate - the 1954 vintage - was released 60 years ago. This latest vintage is a fitting tribute: essence of mulberry, supple dark tannin, it will age gracefully.


2016 Krinklewood Spider Run White, Hunter Valley, $30

A brilliant, spicy and creamy blend of sémillon, verdelho and chardonnay, crying out to be paired with oily fish. Look out, too, for Krinklewood's new 2017 River Blend, a skins-fermented mash-up of gewürz and verdelho.


2016 Dodgy Brothers Juxtaposed Boomstick Grenache Tempranillo, McLaren Vale/Kangaroo Island, $29

This classic blend of warmer-climate grapes, inspired in part by the medium-bodied, generously flavoured savoury reds of Rioja, has pretty red fruit and gently grippy tannin.


2015 Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir, Gippsland, $220

No surprise, given the stellar reputation of producer and vintage, that this is an utterly spectacular pinot noir: juicy and lively and bright enough to be drunk with relish now; sinewy and powerful enough to also cellar for decades.


2016 Frankly, Bob Made this Petit Verdot Merlot, Orange/Rylstone, $25

The Bob in question, Bob Colman, a newcomer to the wine game, has taken the perfumed lift and tannic spine of petit verdot and blended it with berries of merlot to produce a snappy red that tastes a bit like cab franc.

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