First Drop Nacional is quite a drink! It is rich and obvious, but there is a lot of flavour underneath the bravado. First Drop Nacional tastes of damson plums, cherries, violets, smoke, woody, cola. It sits just on the verge of jamminess. The palate walks the line of thick vs silk. First Drop Nacional has a pronounced drying finish with a fairy floss lift. Pomegranate, a hint of schist, soft tannins. In other words, First Drop Nacional is delicious. And despite the big, bold flavours, it is only 13% alcohol. It is delicious right now; it gets better with air, so a decant would not go astray. Nacional is known to improve with age, so you can put the First Drop Nacional away for the long haul.
The team say to pair First Drop Nacional with hit wings.
First Drop Nacional McLaren Vale Touriga Nacional 2017, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
First Drop Nacional McLaren Vale Touriga Nacional 2019 Winery Notes
“Joch’s vineyard is in the Willunga foothills in the south of the McLaren Vale – 130m above sea level on deep alluvial stony clay loam.
VINTAGE 2019: A very dry winter and spring, with frost events in September and November disrupting budburst and owering, resulted in the lightest crops in the past decade. January and February were warm and dry, and in conjunction with the low yields, ripening was rapid. Quick decision making and early picking resulted in whites with great aromatics, and reds with great intensity and structure thanks also to the light crops and early tannin maturity. 2019 was a challenging vintage, but one of the most rewarding, with our alternative varieties showing particularly well. The overall quality is a tribute to our growers and their perseverance in a dicult growing season. We salute you!”
Two friends, Matt ‘Gantos’ Gant and John ‘JR’ Retsas, brought First Drop into being in 2004. First Drop makes wines to drink rather than pontificate upon. Their base is the ‘Home of the Brave’ in the heart of the Barossa Valley. The house style of First Drop is silky, textural, drinkable wines with a hint of funk and a lot of interest. They source an eclectic range of varieties and produce a diversity of wine styles. The fruit comes from vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Barossa. The packaging completes the wines, engaging and often humorous labels and stories behind them.
The maritime climate and sandy soils of McLaren Vale make it a great place for growing grapes. Reds, in particular, excel here. Shiraz, of course, but the Spanish varieties Grenache and Tempranillo seem well suited too. The maritime climate helps mitigate some of the heat from the SA summers, and the sandy soils mean that phylloxera could not survive and so they have some of the oldest vines in the world.
Touriga Nacional is the most desirable for quality Port and table wine but proves difficult to grow and offers small yields. That means the easier to grow Touriga Franca is favoured for less expensive wines and can be seen as the Cabernet Franc compared to Nacionals Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines of T. Nacional are thick, dense, intensely coloured and full of flavour.
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 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, including 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. Terroir 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.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.