Swinney Riesling 2023


96 Points TWF

Striking pale straw with green hues. The nose is intense and aromatic with Meyer lemon, honeysuckle, beeswax and oyster shell. The palate is medium bodied with lively, pithy citrus fruits of pomelo and lime in addition to lychee and green papaya, complemented by a spine of slaty acidity and a moreish, briny dry finish. Producer’s notes

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.

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SKU: SWI001-23 Categories: , ,

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