Drinks News

Top Drops: April 2018

A powerful and complex gin from Victoria's Macedon Ranges makes our short-list this April, as does an essential cabernet franc from the Loire Valley.

By Max Allen
Gourmet Traveller's top drops for April include a powerful and complex Victorian gin with citrus notes and an essential cabernet franc from the Loire Valley.

Numbered from top to bottom, left to right

1. MAGIC NUMBER

2017 Rieslingfreak No 5 Off-Dry Riesling, Clare Valley, $25

John Hughes is winning awards left, right and centre for his rieslings – such as this scintillating, pristine, refreshing example of the off-dry style with a hint of tingly grape sweetness. rieslingfreak.com

2. ESSENTIAL FRENCH

2013 Catherine et Pierre Breton Nuits d'Ivresse, Bourgueil, Loire Valley, $40

Exceptional mediumbodied cabernet franc: crunchy, bright, juicy and nervy – delicious. Imported by george@georgemcculloughimports.com

3. FRESH 'N' HOPPY

Balter XPA, Currumbin, $5

Brilliant balance of new-wave bitter hoppy perfume and old-style refreshing Aussie drinkability. No wonder it was voted number one in this year's GABS Hottest 100 craft beer poll. balter.com.au

4. PURE PINOT

2016 Port Phillip Estate Balnarring Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, $38

This silky, supple wine and its Red Hill sibling (also $38) are amazing value. You'd expect to pay twice as much for wines of this calibre. portphillipestate.com.au

5. MULTILAYERED GIN

Animus Arboretum Gin, Macedon Ranges, $115

Bold, complex, intriguing gin, with layers of aromatics running from the bass notes of bush tomato up to the high notes of citrus. A little stronger than most, too, at 50 per cent ABV. animusdistillery.com

6. DRINK NOW... OR LATER

2016 Nocturne Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, $45

Julian Langworthy has built a reputation as one of Margaret River's best cabernet makers with wines like this; intensely flavoured, beautifully poised, it's good now and will also cellar well. nocturnewines.com.au

7. NEW FIZZ ON THE BLOCK

2015 Bellebonne Vintage Rosé, Tasmania, $65

Nat Fryar was winemaker at Jansz for many years and knows Tasmanian fizz better than most, so it's absolutely no surprise that the first wine under her own label is gorgeously elegant and refined. bellebonne.wine

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  • Author: Max Allen