38% Mourvèdre, 37% Syrah, 25% Grenache. Grenache has taken the early plaudits, yet the Swinney team are equally enthusiastic about their Mourvèdre. Like the Grenache, these are planted as bush vines. Indeed, Mann notes that Mourvèdre’s ascendency in 2019 will likely continue in future years. The block that gifts this field blend was harvested in a single pick and was then co-fermented. Mann used 65% whole bunches to build perfume and structure. The ferments spent up to two weeks on skins before being pressed directly to fine-grained large format French oak (only 9% new).
Taking nothing away from the Grenache and Syrah, Mann highlights this blend as his favorite Swinney red, as for him it’s the estate’s most vineyard-driven expression of time and place. Again, it’s very perfumed with violet and dark cherry notes, but there’s also a more inky, bloody edge to the fruit. In the mouth the wine is more generous than the straight Grenache but also more savoury, with the Mourvèdre bringing power, tannins and peppery, ferrous and dark spice notes. An exceptional wine of pristine youthfulness. Suffice to say, if this came from a top Rhône portfolio it would be twice the price.
“Deep, brooding spicy wine of black fruit and savoury dried herb and lavender perfume. It’s defined as much by anything else, by its dense shale-like or graphite tannin. So much good stuff to chew on, and roll around the mouth. Also, black olive and grilled meat strewn with pepper, some raspberry maybe, and freshness to acidity. Length is excellent too, saline and savoury, with uncompromising tannin and grip as it goes. It’s a fair way out of the mainstream in terms of Australian wine, and none the worse for that.”
95 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front