Swinney Syrah 2020
SPECIAL BUY 6 or more. Outstanding Shiraz from Vineyard of the Year 2020
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.
Swinney’s 2020 Syrah was hand-harvested from a selection of parcels planted to a range of clones, including 470, Waldron clonal material and Jack Mann’s heritage massale selection of Syrah. Unlike the Grenache and Mourvèdre, the Syrah is trellised (although there are plans afoot to plant single-stake Syrah in the future).
In the winery, the berries were sorted and emptied to small wooden and stainless-steel fermenters via gravity. A barely noticeable 31% whole-bunch component was integrated to build structure. The 2020 spent two weeks on skins before being pressed directly to fine grained, 600-litre demi-muids (13% new) for 11 months.
It’s a striking Syrah where cracked black pepper, plum and dark berries meld seamlessly into a faint background of discreet and subtly handled oak. With a medley of black cherry, plums and spice, the silken textured palate combines power and finesse while sculpted, chalky tannins taper to an impressively long finish. It’s shaping up to be really outstanding and would not look out of place in a line-up of topflight Northern Rhônes.
94 Points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front “From the fantastically farmed Swinney vineyard, Syrah goes to older (mostly) larger format oak. Swinney for the winney. Quite inky and dense, inward concentration in spades, blackcurrants, boot polish, charry woody spice, silty tannins and saline minerally detail going on. Firm texture in a way but lots of bouncy, bright fruit in that mix – tannins ripple glossy yet taut in the wine. Fresh but deep, dark, brooding too. Black olive, green herbs, the idea of how red earth tastes in this wine too. Serious red, seriously good.”
RRP $45 Our Special Price $35.99 when you buy 6 of this wine.
|Region or Country||
Australia, Western Australia
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