2019 Swinney Farvie Syrah
Swinney’s Syrah comes from a single parcel of 22-year-old Syrah vines (on a similar soil profile to the Grenache) that includes a range of clones, including Jack Mann’s (winemaker Rob Mann’s grandfather!) heritage massale selection. Unlike the bush vine Grenache and Mourvèdre, the Syrah is trellised, although there are plans afoot to plant single-stake Syrah in the future. As with the Grenache above, the vines were meticulously managed and the fruit was sorted in both vineyard and winery. Although the Frankland River is cool-climate continental, Swinney also use shade cloth for the Shiraz on the western side, creating a soft, mottled light to protect the skins and lower the temperature in the bunch zone.
After a sorting, 54% whole bunches were incorporated to build structure and texture while promoting bright and spicy aromatics. Everything was gravity-fed to a French oak vat and two 600L demi-muids for a natural fermentation. The wine spent 11 days on skins before it was basket-pressed directly to fine-grained large format French oak, where it was aged for 11 months prior to bottling (the wine only saw 8% new oak). Like the Farvie Grenache, the Farvie Syrah was made with minimum effective sulphites and was bottled unfined.
Hand picked from a single parcel of 22yo syrah vines. Berries sorted and gravity-fed to a French oak vat (1600L) and 22 demi-muids. 54% whole bunches, wild ferment, 11 days on skins prior to basket pressing direct to large-format French oak (8% new), matured for 11 months. Harvested 27/3/2019, pH 3.62, TA 5.2, RS 0.2g/L. 176 cases produced. Bacon fat, maple, salted pomegranate, raspberry, graphite, red dirt, mulberry and pink peppercorn. Like the Hokusai wave, this crashes and courses with flavours and textures, ebbing and flowing on the palate. This is balanced, restrained, long, powerful and most importantly, shaped and structured by supple, chewy tannins. They hold the fruit in the cups of their hands and usher it through a very long finish. A weightlessly poetic wine.
Erin Larkin - James Halliday's Wine Companion
Tremendous example of syrah from Frankland River. High-end aromatics that release after decanting. And it needed decanting because it is still such a tightly wound and tense wine, withholding its best for a few years. The juice runs by gravity to a large oak vat and two 600L barrels before gentle pressing to large format French oak of which only 8 per cent is new. It’s unfined and minimally filtered which really maximises the sense that this is a wine of the vineyard. Glorious wine that captures all that is good from this region.
Ray Jordan - The West Australian
Very deep, bright purple/red colour, with an alluring bouquet of smoked smallgoods, assorted spices, dark plum and a flick of black pepper. It's highly concentrated and essency, with pristine fruit clarity and a tremendously long carry. Red and black fruits carry through an almost endless finish. Great purity of shiraz fruit. A most impressive young shiraz, which should have a tremendous future.
Huon Hooke - The Real Review
Succulent, supple syrah, slick with spice and savoury characters, slips over the palate with silky yet sinewy tannins, delivers serious concentration and a sense of seamlessness. Super stuff. It’s fragrant, medium weight, dark fruited, peppery-cinnamon spice laden, feels complex in the sense that lots is going on when you sip it. There’s great density yet freshness, shape and drive. A beautiful mouthful here. Potent now as something special, the future should unfurl this wine nicely too. Class all the way.
Mike Bennie - The Wine Front