Swinney Mourvedre Syrah Grenache 2020
SPECIAL BUY 6 or more. 94 points “charisma, texture, tension, and energy in spades. Serious stuff!”
Siblings Matt and Janelle Swinney have created something very special in the Frankland River region of the Great Southern in WA. The vineyards are part of remote and isolated 2,500 (approx. 6,000 acres) hectare grape growing and grazing property which has been the home of the Swinney family for four generations.
George John Alexander Swinney was a pioneer of the Frankland River Region and settled at ‘Franklands’ in 1922. The ‘Franklands’ property sit on ironstone gravel hill tops above the Frankland River and produce wines that have a distinctly ferrous character – a character strongly associated with the highest quality Frankland River fruit.
Bush vine viticulture is their passion and, with the right site selection and varieties, produces some of the most site-specific fruit you will see. Growing vines this way is labour intensive and requires a lot of dedication and patience – everything must be done by hand, but the lower yield and greater effort is worth the effort! Low-yielding and growing naturally without trellising, bush vines are a rarity in Western Australia and exemplify the Swinney’s long term commitment to producing wines that are a true expression of their unique sites and variety and in as natural and unforced manner as possible.
Winemaker, Rob Mann (grandson of the legendary Jack Mann—the godfather of Western Australian wine)– joined the Swinney team in 2018, whose philosophy is simple—to reflect and preserve the personality of each individual vineyard site. To achieve this, we harvest by hand—often with multiple passes over the same vine—fruit and berry sort and co-ferment where possible.
“There is no question that this vineyard and the style being crafted under one of Australia’s finest winemakers, Rob Mann, have redefined syrah and grenache. These are now the established benchmarks and should be on the buy-now list for anyone with an interest in contemporary Australian wine.” Ray Jordan, The West Australian, 2021
When Matt and Janelle Swinney first decided to plant Grenache and Mourvèdre, many questioned their wisdom, saying the grapes wouldn’t ripen. As it turned out, under Swinney’s uncompromising management, this cool, ironstone pocket of Frankland River now looks like the promised land for these Mediterranean varieties.
Swinney was named 2020 Vineyard of the Year in the inaugural Young Gun of Wine Australian Vineyard of the Year Awards. “The scale of the vineyard, coupled with their pinpoint focus and pursuit of innovation, and the quality of the resulting wines, is truly extraordinary and inspiring”, the judges said.
This blend – 46% Mourvèdre, 29% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 4% Mencía – was a showstopper last year, and 2020 offers more of the same. Grenache has taken the early plaudits, yet the Swinney team are equally enthusiastic about their Mourvèdre. Indeed, Mann notes that Mourvèdre’s ascendancy will likely continue in future years—this year’s slice already accounts for almost half the blend. The Mourvèdre, like the Grenache is from bush vines and the Syrah from vertically trellised vines—all from iron-rich gravelly loam soils. This year there’s also a splash of Mencía, which we hear is showing great promise in the vineyard.
In the vines, careful canopy management, fruit thinning and selective hand-harvesting over multiple passes are all par for the course. The fruit was fermented with 54% whole bunches and the wines spent up to two weeks on skins prior to being pressed directly to fine grained, large format, French oak (8% new) where they were aged on lees for 11 months before bottling.
Another beautifully weighted release, Rob Mann has coalesced the dark fruits and earthy notes of the Mourvèdre with more delicate strawberry top-notes of the Grenache. There’s a disarming perfume, which belies a chiselled yet dense palate of blackberry and blueberry, bay leaf, mocha and a hint of strawberry. Subtle charcuterie notes lead to a long and spicy finish, and the whole is driven by an energy and freshness you don’t often see in domestic Rhône blends (or many French ones for that matter!) A winner on its own or with some barbecued wagyu—and so very well priced.
94 Points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front “Around half is whole bunch, all of it is wild fermented, there’s a splash of Mencía in the mix (would love to see a 2020 single variety Mencía off this site!). It’s been a cracker in the past, here’s the new release. Blackcurrant jelly, graphite, old leather, woody spice abound in perfume. Flavours roll a similar way, more blueberry than blackcurrant though, juiciness chiselled into by ribs of mineral-charged tannin, some sooty spice and tobacco characters lending savouriness. Medium weight, tannin-shaped, long, firm, dusty, savoury. Such a great drink here with charisma, texture, tension, and energy in spades. Serious stuff!”
RRP $45 Our Special Price $35.99 when you buy 6 or more
|Region or Country||
Australia, Frankland River, Western Australia
Grenache and Blends, Mourvedre, Shiraz, syrah
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