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This is a remarkable expression of Australian Shiraz and one that puts Western Australia right back in the conversation regarding benchmarks for this variety. Where the two previous vintages were drawn exclusively from Swinney’s Powderbark vineyard, the 2020 includes one-third Syrah from Wilsons Pool, which delivered a slightly fleshier profile this year. Regardless, only a selected area of soil in both blocks is earmarked for Farvie, with the vines fostered in a way that nourishes and balances the fruit to optimum levels to allow dry farming. The vines are on a similar soil profile to the Grenache and are planted to 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 to plant single-stake Syrah in the future. The vines are meticulously managed, and the fruit was sorted in both the vineyard and winery. Although Frankland River is cool-climate continental, Swinney also uses 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. Rigorous shoot positioning and bunch selection further refine the unique expression so critical to the personality of this fruit.
Sorted berry-by-berry, Rob Mann incorporated 67% whole bunches to build structure and texture while promoting bright and spicy aromatics. Everything was gravity-fed to a French oak vat and two demi-muids for wild fermentation. The wine spent only 11 days on skins before it was basket-pressed directly to fine-grained, large-format French oak, where it was raised for 11 months before bottling.
We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate in Melbourne, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge and respect the Traditional Owners of lands across Australia, their Elders, Ancestors, cultures and heritage, and recognise the continuing sovereignties of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations.
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