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Vintage 2023 is, in the words of Rob Mann, “really exciting”. Conditions were ideal; cool and dry, with no prolonged heat spikes. The only downside was below-average yields owing to the dry conditions. As he is wont to do, Mann finds the silver lining, telling us the reduced crop levels meant fruit clarity, freshness and acidities were preserved.The first key to understanding Swinney’s Riesling style is to appreciate the farming. All blocks are organic and dry-farmed, the vines are cane-pruned and the row orientation is north to south. The team uses shade cloth in the Riesling blocks, protecting the bunches from excessive sun exposure and avoiding any roasted character in the fruit. Such precise vineyard management goes some way to explaining the wine’s purity and transparency.The second key is in the cellar, where Rob Manns’s search for structure and texture reigns supreme. The fruit (from two of Swinney’s oldest blocks in the Powderbark vineyard) is whole bunch-pressed and fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel with a high component of solids. This approach “builds nuance and a saline core in the wine”, according to Mann. He’s not looking for austerity, rather he is seeking something more textural and aromatic with flavour complexity and a high degree of fruit purity. In this, he’s nailed it; if you thought the 2022 was good, just wait.
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.
Warning: under the liquor control reform act 1998 it is an offence; to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (penalty exceeds $7000); for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (penalty exceeds $500)