Region: Frankland River, WA
First Glance: bright fruit, exotic spice, savoury, complex
Acclaim: 94 points
The Swinney family have firmly established themselves as a grape-growing-institution in the Frankland River region. But while the Swinneys grow grapes for a number of prolific producers, their own wines from the family estate, are of incredible quality, and easily go toe-to-toe with the wines of their top clients – the likes of Penfolds and Hardy’s.
With Matt Swinney currently at the helm, the estate was recently recognised with the Young Gun of Wine’s ‘Australian Vineyard of the Year’ award, a testament to the team’s impressive attention to detail, knowledge of their land, and mind for sustainability.
This year's Mourvedre release is another great success for the estate, and continues the trend observable in the Syrah and Grenache releases, of supple and detailed elegance, where everything is just right and never overdone. The vines were planted early 2000's as bush vines (a training method which gives less fruit in favour of concentration and the ability to be dry farmed, by means of greater moisture retention in the plant), and these are just starting to hit their stride of maturity. Like with the Syrah, a small amount of fruit goes to fermentation as whole bunches, highlighting the freshness of fruit and spice, and lifting the aromatic profile. Matured for 11 months in mostly used, large format French oak, to limit the wood imprint and retain focus on the pristine fruit.
94 points, Ken Garget, Wine Pilot
Deep red/garnet colour. The nose is all exotic spices, florals, cherries, raspberries, black olives and warm handfuls of freshly turned earth. One can almost envisage Lang Hancock back in the day when he first grabbed a handful of that red soil. There is an appealing plushness to all this. A wine of mid-length, with fine acidity, there is real grip here. Leave it for three or four years to allow it to fully come together and reveal its glories at their best. Then drink it over the next six to ten years."