Swinney’s 2019 Farvie Syrah is without doubt an incomparable wine. I would prefer the name Shiraz, but the Farvie marches to the beat of i’t own drum, comprising elements of Syrah and Shiraz. Impenetrable core, and the nose needs lots of coaxing, before it’s immensity is fully realised. Brambly fruits of mulberry, blackberry, cassis and kirsch that are threaded to a compote of red fruits, lavender and savoury spice. Tense and coiled, so much power! Deep, detailed and complex, with cinnamon flecking the fruit and sleek, muscular tannins. Immense breadth, with an incredible amplitude that fills every corner and cranny of the mouth. Rolling waves of flavour and texture, that never seem to end. Prodigious, formidable and individual. One of Australia;s greatest wines. Waters Wine Co.
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.