Topper's Mountain Hill of Dreams Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Barossa Valley
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£25.95 per bottle
203 in stock

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love it – it’s as simple as that. The colour is a riot of autumn – fallen Ginkgo biloba leaves and honey. So beautiful. The bouquet reminds me of Paul Lato’s uber-expensive Malvasia which I adore equally. Baked Russet apple filled with sweet spices and honey tincture. A little caramelised pineapple and cinnamon come through with more aeration.  The bunches were de-stemmed and crushed, but the skins were included in the fermentation, creating wonderful mouthfeel and texture. The grip and tang of the Russet being a perfect description. This wine speaks fluently of minimal intervention to express its place of origin. There’s exceptional length and depth – Everything about this wine should be admired, including the fact that these grapes were rescued at the last minute from the Tingha Plateau Bushfire that ravaged their vineyard in February 2019. I love the honesty and I love the skill and dedication. Unfiltered, unfined and a miniscule 516 bottles produced. Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Drinking now to 2023/25. Do not overchill and there’s no need to decant.”

Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, May 2020 “This is sauvignon blanc from Topper’s Mountain vineyard. That might be a plain statement in normal circumstances, but this was the only fruit that survived the devastating and complete bushfire that wiped out the rest of Topper’s Mountain vineyard. A survivor wine. The fruit was picked, fermented on its skins and matured in old oak barrels. Skin fermentation seems to have minimised smoke character here, if that was present, which is curious. These guys have been through the ringers over past years… This is good orange wine, really chewy, dry, flavoursome, savoury, loaded with fresh acidity and bursting out of the glass with perfume. There’s a slightly ashy character over strong, tart citrus fruit, light passionfruit, green herb. That faint ash seems whipped into the wine, neatly. Impressive tannins here, great length, a vibrancy and generally just a very moreish drink. It’ll perform best with rich food, I suspect, and best not drunk on its own, such is the intensity of tannin in this wine. I like it.”

Taste & Aroma

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love it – it’s as simple as that. The colour is a riot of autumn – fallen Ginkgo biloba leaves and honey. So beautiful. The bouquet reminds me of Paul Lato’s uber-expensive Malvasia which I adore equally. Baked Russet apple filled with sweet spices and honey tincture. A little caramelised pineapple and cinnamon come through with more aeration.  The bunches were de-stemmed and crushed, but the skins were included in the fermentation, creating wonderful mouthfeel and texture. The grip and tang of the Russet being a perfect description. This wine speaks fluently of minimal intervention to express its place of origin. There’s exceptional length and depth – Everything about this wine should be admired, including the fact that these grapes were rescued at the last minute from the Tingha Plateau Bushfire that ravaged their vineyard in February 2019. I love the honesty and I love the skill and dedication. Unfiltered, unfined and a miniscule 516 bottles produced. Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Drinking now to 2023/25. Do not overchill and there’s no need to decant.”

Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, May 2020 “This is sauvignon blanc from Topper’s Mountain vineyard. That might be a plain statement in normal circumstances, but this was the only fruit that survived the devastating and complete bushfire that wiped out the rest of Topper’s Mountain vineyard. A survivor wine. The fruit was picked, fermented on its skins and matured in old oak barrels. Skin fermentation seems to have minimised smoke character here, if that was present, which is curious. These guys have been through the ringers over past years… This is good orange wine, really chewy, dry, flavoursome, savoury, loaded with fresh acidity and bursting out of the glass with perfume. There’s a slightly ashy character over strong, tart citrus fruit, light passionfruit, green herb. That faint ash seems whipped into the wine, neatly. Impressive tannins here, great length, a vibrancy and generally just a very moreish drink. It’ll perform best with rich food, I suspect, and best not drunk on its own, such is the intensity of tannin in this wine. I like it.”

Glassware

Glassware

Zalto Denk-Art Universal Glass

The Zalto Universal glass is recommended for richer, oaked Sauvignon Blancs such as Hughes & Hughes Barrel & Skins, white Graves or Semillon/Sauvignon blends as well as young and non-vintage Champagne. The Zalto Universal is a very good 'all-rounder', designed for all types of wine but in our opinion may not maximize the potential of certain wines quite as much as the Bordeaux or Burgundy glass.

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Topper's Mountain

Producer

Topper's Mountain wines

New England is unlike any other wine producing region in Australia. In a country which NASA declared ‘the flattest in the world’ we find a wine producing region situated at over 1000m above sea level, putting them at a similar altitude to the peak of Mount Snowdon! This provides a cool climate, with soils and topography which work perfectly for the mostly Mediterranean grape varieties that the team at Topper’s Mountain focus on growing here.

Topper’s Mountain is our first, exclusive winery from New England which is an exciting, re-emerging wine region with a captivating history dating back as far as the first settlers, who began planting vineyards and making wine there due to the difficulties in transporting alcohol from other major centres.

The Topper’s vineyard was founded in by Mark Kirkby 1998 and sits at 900m ASL, meaning that despite sitting much closer to the equator than most of the world’s viticulture, they are still bestowed with cool nights, low maximum temperatures and a generally continental climate. These all combine to create wines of great elegance and fruit definition which are more comparable to wines grown a thousand kilometres or more from the equator. Winemaker, Mike Hayes says, “My philosophy is to express the terroir of the vineyard and not the barrel maker from the south of France. I feel that great wine comes from great vineyards, not great winemakers. I also feel that to capture the flavour of the earth and express it in the bottle is a far greater challenge than manufacturing wine in the lab.”

Vigneron and owner Mark Kirkby and manager Jan Toborsky provide a fascinating insight into life and winemaking at Topper’s Mountain in our introductory conversation which you can read here.

Region

Barossa Valley Wines

 

A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.

 

Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.

The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.

It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.

The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region.

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