The Levantine Hills Syrah 2016 reflects winemaker Paul Bridgeman’s experience in the northern Rhône, firing shots of blueberry, violet, anise, charcuterie and iodine from a rifle of assertive tannins and peppery acidity.
Pepper and Ginger Nut biscuits, plum and redcurrant, roses, clove and leaf. It’s medium-bodied, spicy and nutty, more towards a Pinot Noir in weight, and to an extent, texture. Pleasant stalky things, crisp cranberry acidity, blood orange tang, fine grained but firm tannin, and a long cool spicy finish. Stylish, restained and savoury style.
93 points, The Wine Front (February 2020)
A heady mix of red and black berry fruits swirling with black pepper, thyme and spiced plums. Ethereal and elegant; pinot-esque in its glide across the palate, tannins softened and ready. Whole-bunch spice, campari botanicals, crunchy red-berry acidity to drive the finish. Strength in its subtlety. Beautifully made.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2020)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.