Featured Winery - First Drop Wines
"... becoming a winery to be reckoned with" according to the Wine Spectator, First Drop is a partnership between English guy, Matt ‘Gantos’ Gant, and local guy, John ‘JR’ Retsas, who share a passion for good wine. There is a family connection in that Matt's parents are in charge of selecting UK partners for First Drop wines and importing the wines into the UK. Matt began his vinous journey in 1995 with a two-week field trip to Burgundy and Champagne as part of his geography degree and after experience in New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the US and Australia, he settled in Australia where he has won awards such as the Australian Wine Society’s ‘Young Winemaker of the Year’ and ‘Young Gun of Wine’.
First Drop has a rather unique and artistic approach to its marketing and to its packaging - they believe the wine should look as good as it tastes. But the focus is on the taste. First Drop produces wines with flavour and texture and in their words "a splash of funk" from eclectic varieties grown in the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale regions of South Australia. They select the best fruit from unique vineyards. Their philosophy is to have a sensitivity for tradition and a passion for innovation in producing their range of varietals and blends at their winery, ‘Home of the Brave’, in the Barossa. They are big believers in making wines with balance - read my blog on the crucial components of quality wine, including balance.
There have been a lot of changes in the Australian wine industry in the last ten years or so. With its reputation marred by previously consistent but simple "critter" brands and jammy, oak-influenced, mass-produced wines, it was time for a "new generation" of Australian wine with personality, complexity, balance and elegance. The First Drop wines featured in our portfolio represent that new generation and justify the high scores they have been awarded by James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion:
- Mere et Fils Chardonnay 2013 - 95 points - a white wine with the aromas, flavours and texture reminiscent of the great white Burgundian wines but a touch lighter and fresher in style
- Minchia Montepulciano 2012 - 95 points - an Australian expression Montepulciano bursting with fruit; quite robust and best consumed with food, though very round and smooth in style
JR Gantos Quinta do sul 2010 - 94 points - classic McLaren Vale Cabernet (blackcurrant, chocolate & a hint of eucalyptus) with fragrance from Portuguese grape, Touriga Nacional
- 2% Shiraz 2013 - 94 points - classic Barossa Valley Shiraz with an interesting 2% Muscat added for its perfume and elegance. Rich, sweet black fruits with creamy spices, gentle tannins and a smooth texture
- Vivo Arneis 2014 - 93 points - produced from Italian grape, Arneis, an amazing, crisp white wine described by First Drop as the "ultimate summer cleanser" and perfect with seafood
Nacional 2013 - 93 points - a lovely summer red wine made 100% from Portuguese grape, Touriga Nacional; very fruity with refreshing acidity yet with substance
Lindsay Cornelissen DipWSET, www.wineswithattitude.co.uk
© Wines With Attitude Limited
Lindsay is passionate about good quality wine and set up her online wine business, Wines With Attitude, in 2014 to share that passion with other wine lovers.
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