Friday, February 12, 2010

First Drop Wines

First Drop Wines is a relatively new virtual winery with interests in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the Barossa. I had a chance to taste eight of their wines.

The first four were relatively fruit forward wines, an Arneis, a Rose, a Nebbiolo/Barbera and a Montepulciano, all but the Rose from the Adelaide Hills. None of these wines would have scored 90 points. They were simple and often sweet, the best of them being the 2007 'Minchia' Montepulciano. I must say I cringe most of the time at the attempts with new varieties. Having quite a few Piedmont wines in my cellar, I have to say, the First Drop wines don't even come close.

Then on to the Barossa Shirazes. The entry wine is the unfortunately named 2008 Mother's Milk Shiraz. It is fruity and soft with a dry finish, but I would rather drink a Woodcutters, or a Laughing Jack or a Kalleske or a Best's Bin 1 at this price point.

The 2007 '2%' Shiraz is called a reserve wine. It is quite big, tasting of sweet plum and has a reasonable, but quite tannic finish.

The 'Fat of the Land' wines come from single vineyards. I tasted the 06 from Seppeltsfield and from Ebenezer. The Seppeltsfield wine has a very inky colour, is rich, tasting of blueberry and blackberry with a bit of eucalypt. It is a muscular wine, but also quite soft and silky: The best wine of the night. The Ebenezer is big as well, with black fruit and chocolate, and big strong tannins. These two wines tasted quite good on the night, but were a bit uneven, and I am not sure of their aging potential. Scores: 93/0 and 92/0

First Drop is an attempt to differentiate, whatever the cost: they make many wines (a lot more than shown), they have unusual names, and every wine has a different label. While I don't doubt the talents of the team, I would suggest that focus could lead to better quality and thereby differentiation in the long run than their scattergun approach.

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