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Lambert Wines - Frighteningly Good: The 2022 Syrah

Lambert Wines - Frighteningly Good: The 2022 Syrah

2022 was quite a year for Luke Lambert and Rosalind Hall. Both quit their day jobs—Luke as a consultant winemaker in the Yarra Valley and Rosalind as a music teacher in Melbourne—to focus exclusively on their Glenburn farm (Sparkletown) and Lambert Wines. They also said goodbye to Tibooburra, instead switching their base camp to one of the Yarra Valley’s most distinctive and meticulously managed vineyards. Denton View Hill is an 80-acre cone-shaped site in Yarra Glen. It’s planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Nebbiolo, all the way around from northeast to southwest. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are on the east slope and capture the early morning sun, while the later-ripening Syrah and Nebbiolo are on the more exposed western slope.

Key to the singular nature of wines from this site is the granitic, sandy soil over hulking granite boulders, a terroir formed 370 million years ago from an active volcano that left behind a granite plug. It’s a vineyard that Luke believes is now sporting some of the healthiest soils in the valley, thanks also to the comprehensive viticultural program enacted by Julian Parrot: under-vine cultivation; the elimination of herbicides; organic management; and almost exclusively dry-farming. “The improvements are farming driven; the wines are better because the soil is better,” explains Luke, “All you have to do is look at the volume of worms present to realise how much life and energy there is in this soil”. In particular, the fruit for the estate wines comes from the top of the slopes where the topsoils are much bonier, resulting in smaller vines and hence, lower yields (the vines on the lower slopes go towards the Crudo range).

Of course, you must factor in the quality of the vintage—’22 was a belter—but in Luke’s mind, the real hero of what he calls his best-ever release, is the vineyard. “This is the first release I’ve been pretty close to being 100% happy with”, he told us. And we really don’t need to tell you how that plays out in the glass.

For full information on Lambert Wines and to see the full range, click here

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