Swinney’s 2019 Farvie Syrah is a remarkable expression of Australian Shiraz that puts Western Australia right back in the conversation when it comes to benchmarks for this variety.
Tremendous example of syrah from Frankland River. High-end aromatics that release after decanting. And it needed decanting because it is still such a tightly wound and tense wine, withholding its best for a few years. The juice runs by gravity to a large oak vat and two 600L barrels before gentle pressing to large format French oak of which only 8 per cent is new. It’s unfined and minimally filtered which really maximises the sense that this is a wine of the vineyard. Glorious wine that captures all that is good from this region. 98 points, Ray Jordan, The West Australian
Very deep, bright purple/red colour, with an alluring bouquet of smoked smallgoods, assorted spices, dark plum and a flick of black pepper. It’s highly concentrated and essency, with pristine fruit clarity and a tremendously long carry. Red and black fruits carry through an almost endless finish. Great purity of shiraz fruit. A most impressive young shiraz, which should have a tremendous future. 96 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
Swinney’s Syrah comes from a single parcel of 22-year-old Syrah vines (on a similar soil profile to the Grenache) that includes a range of clones. Unlike the bush vine Grenache and Mourvèdre, the Syrah is trellised, although there are plans afoot to plant single-stake Syrah in the future. Although the Frankland River is cool-climate continental, Swinney also use 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.
After a sorting, 54% whole bunches were incorporated to build structure and texture while promoting bright and spicy aromatics. Everything was gravity-fed to a French oak vat and two 600L demi-muids for a natural fermentation. The wine spent 11 days on skins before it was basket-pressed directly to fine-grained large format French oak, where it was aged for 11 months prior to bottling (the wine only saw 8% new oak). Made with minimum effective sulphites and bottled unfined.