2009 Topper’s Mountain Red Earth Child

Mark Kirkby is the vigneron and Mike Hayes is listed as the winemaker. Mike also makes the wines for Granite Belt producer Symphony Hills. Interesting guy. Met him whilst studying wine science back in 2008. He assured us that it was only a matter of time before most Australian winemakers returned to cork as their closure of choice. Yes…

Anyway, to the wine – which is quite unique. A blend of Petit Verdot (roughly 66%), Barbera, Nebbiolo and Tannat. They apparently forgot to make a 2010 but the 2011 will be Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Tannat. You can find out a bit more about the philosophy behind this in the comments section over at the Full Pour website (which I highly recommend you visit if you haven’t already).  I’m not really interested in arguing the relative merits of single varieties vs blends when it comes to illustrating terroir but I do think we concentrate far too much on single variety wines in Australia and this leaves blends, and their enormous contribution the country’s landscape, somewhat out in the cold. A shame really.

On the first day the 2009 Red Earth Child presented itself in a rather taciturn manner. You could distinguish tar, earth, cherries, tea leaf and black fruits but it was overwhelmingly sombre and dominated by a strong, stubborn vinous character and an abundance of structure. That gruff, grainy tannin released its grip over the subsequent two days of tasting, freeing up violets and roses along with juicy, acid-driven fruit flavour. The development greatly enhanced the wine, providing contrast to the aniseed, red dirt and herb savouriness that was present from the beginning. So much character here and with fantastic potential to improve with age. Exciting wine. 93+ Very Good – Excellent

Region: New England
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $38
Tasted: October 2012


This entry was posted in Barbera et al, Nebbiolo et al, New England, Other Reds, Petit Verdot et al and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2009 Topper’s Mountain Red Earth Child

  1. Julian says:

    Thanks for the linkage, JP. I found this pretty exciting too, in the same way that an eccentric relative can seem exciting at a family gathering. My bottle definitely improved over a couple of days, so it’s a good idea to give this a bit of time to open up, I think. You’ve captured the flavour profile really well in your note.


  2. Yes, an eccentric relative who has far more worthwhile things to say than the rest of your family :) Definitely needs time to open up. Will be interesting to see if my “+” sign comes into play…

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