It’s fair to say Luke Lambert hasn’t looked back since ‘relocating’ his Syrah to the Tibooburra vineyard. This southwest sloping site lies in the south-eastern corner of the Valley, near Gembrook, and might be the coolest microclimate of the Yarra. The site is expertly managed by Greg Kerr, the grower who planted the vineyard in 2001. The soils here are considered very unusual for the Yarra, comprising a seam of black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay with a smattering of granite rock throughout. Furthermore, the quality of the clonal material in Tibooburra supplies Lambert with a deeper, darker and more structured Syrah than we typically see in the Yarra. This is what drew Lambert to the site and a good chunk of the reason that this Syrah has become a touchstone example of the cool-climate Australian red genre. Put this up against the most famous Aussie cool climate reds and it’s clear that something pretty special is going on. The handling was similar to previous vintages, wild ferment, ageing in neutral oak (a ten year old, 4,000-litre). With the long, slow ripening leading to ‘ripe’ stalks, Lambert lifted the whole bunch level to 80% (the highest yet) and the wine was bottled without fining or filtration. Light on its feet and framed by crisp acids, but with loads of black pepper spice and the full gamut of red cherry through to sweet blackberry fruit. A bright, refreshing spine of tannins and dried herb complexity.