Where everything else in the range has a drink now appeal First Drop The Cream does not. First Drop The Cream is a wine to put away for a very long time and drink the rest of the range in the meantime. First Drop The Cream is a barrel selection of the wines from their Fat of the Land single vineyard range. In 2016 First Drop The Cream was a blend of 35% Ebenezer, 35% Greenock, and 30% Seppeltsfield. First Drop The Cream spent 20 months on lees in oak. The oak was 32% new French oak hogsheads & 12% new American oak barriques, and the balance older, neutral barrels of varying sizes.
We decanted the First Drop The Cream bottle 2 hours before we served it, and it was still an oaky, dense red. There were glimpses of the appeal though; bright, raisined red fruits, cacao, pepper. The palate on First Drop The Cream was long with luxuriously fine tannins. It tasted a bit like vanilla slice. The palate was rich, dripping with ripe fruit and oak.
I wouldn’t consider drinking First Drop The Cream until its 15th Birthday. But, when it reaches perfect maturity, this vintage of First Drop The Cream will be one of the best Barossa Shiraz you’ve ever tasted.
First Drop The Cream Shiraz Barossa Valley 2016, 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.
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.
First Drop The Cream Shiraz Barossa Valley 2016 Wine Review
“A spicy and brambly nose showing lots of liqueur notes derived from fruits, such as blackberries, dark cherries and dark plums. A hint of ivy extract and licorice, too. The palate is very composed with a surprisingly vibrant line of acidity that runs right through the middle, carrying ripe but structured and firm tannins to the very nicely structured finish. Drink in 2025.”
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 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.
More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. 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.