Alternative varieties continue to shine from New England

New releases from Toppers Mountain

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The vineyards at Topper’s Mountain

The vineyards at Topper’s Mountain


New England’s leading winemaker, Topper’s Mountain, continues its run of success with the launch of two new vintage wines, the 2012 Topper’s Mountain Gewürztraminer ($35.00) and 2010 Topper’s Mountain Tempranillo ($32.00).

“We are having great success with our Gewürztraminer,” commented Topper’s owner Mark Kirkby. “The variety is well suited to the cooler climate region; which is just as well, as the 2012 vintage only had three days over 30 degrees.”

“We had a very wet lead up to vintage, with loads of rain up to mid February. Then ‘Hughie’ turned the tap off and it ended up being quite a dry vintage. We picked the grapes on the 13th of March, which is late for New England. They were picked at the ‘peak of pink’ when the bright pink fruit was displaying its characteristic Turkish delight and lychee flavours.”

“This is the key to producing the best Gewürztraminer,” explained Mark, “It’s all about the vineyard, as the winemaking is very minimalist. The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed, and endemic wild yeast allowed to start the fermentation. After the wild yeast consumes five Baume of sugar, we inoculate the must and manage the very cool fermentation over about 15 days. There is no oak maturation and minimal oxidative handling.”

The 2010 Topper’s Mountain Tempranillo is a limited release wine made from ten-year-old vines. The vineyard comprises 70 per cent Tempranillo grown on their own roots, with 30 per cent grafted on moderately vigorous 101-14 rootstock.

‘”After picking the Tempranillo we cold soak the fruit for seven to ten days. This practice has proven to form better colour extraction, develop greater complexity in the aromatics and flavours and soften the strong Tempranillo tannins,” explained Mark.

“We then allow the fruit to ferment with the indigenous yeast prior to maturing the wine in a combination of old French and American barriques for around nine months. This builds flavour and complexity without creating overtly oak dominate wine.”

“This is a wine that requires time to breath as it first appears quite reserved. With some time in a decanter the wine really starts to open up and show the lovely fruit.”

2012 Topper’s Mountain Gewürztraminer $35.00

  • 2012 NSW Top 40 wines
  • Trophy ‘Best Aromatic Wine’, New England Wine Show 2012
  • Trophy ‘ Best New England Wine’ New England Wine Show 2012
  • Trophy ‘Chief Steward’s Award’, New England Wine Show 2012
  • Gold Medal, New England Wine Show 2012
  • Gold Medal, NSW Wine Awards, Class J, 2012

2010 Topper’s Mountain Tempranillo $32.00

The Toppers Mountain wines are available from select retailers and restaurants within Australia as well as direct from their website.


  • New England (NSW)

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January 21st, 2013
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