First Drop 2% Shiraz is my kind of wine. From the warm parts of the Barossa it rich, ripe and plush. Look for dirt, dark fruits, raspberry. The palate is viscous, juicy, but has a refreshing acidity. The palate is long finishing, with floral notes on the end and just a hint of coconut. The flavours linger for a long time after swallowing too. It embraces the oak use, but it integrates into the flavour of the wines. The First Drop 2% Shiraz has 2% Moscatel which is a very Barossa thing to do. With a few years in the bottle already, you can drink this First Drop 2% Shiraz now, or leave it for another 5 years.
First Drop 2% Shiraz – What First Drop says
“Our reserve Shiraz is sourced from vineyards in Seppeltsfield, Greenock and Ebenezer. Dense, earthy dark berry fruits, with hints of tobacco and cocoa are further enhanced by subtle use of oak. This wine has been matured in a combination new and old French oak hogsheads and Amreican oak barriques for 20-24 months, resulting in a sexy, textured palate. And who’s 2%? Moscatel! Just to add a splash of funk.”
First Drop 2% Shiraz Wine Review
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2019 Edition, page 248.
Rating: 94 (Silver)
“Yes there’s size and warmth but it has a smile on its dial and charm on its side. It’s light and heavy at once, floral and fat with ripe berries, its buzzy alcohol drenched in juicy, dark, energetic fruit flavour. It’s a toothsome red wine.”
In 2004 First Drop came into being. Two friends, Matt ‘Gantos’ Gant and John ‘JR’ Retsas, make wines to drink, rather than pontificate upon. Their base is the ‘Home of the Brave’ in the Barossa. The style here is silky, textural, drinkable wines with a hint of funk and a lot of interest. They source fruit vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Barossa and offer a diversity of styles.
One of the major wine regions of Australia. Known for making great Shiraz by any standard as well as Grenache, Mataro, Semillon and much more. There has been a lot of work finding the sub-regions that excel for each style and variety planted.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the terroir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.
The same variety that makes Moscato d’Asti, Muscat Beaumes de Venice and Australian Muscat. The naturally high sugar and acid in the grape made it a robust and therefore popular wine before sanitation was properly understood. The balance and highly aromatic nature of the grape makes it a beautiful variety for sweeter wines.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the special terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine. Except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.