About This Wine
It's fair to say Luke Lambert hasn't looked back since 'relocating' his Syrah to the Tibooburra vineyard. This southwest sloping site lies in the southeastern corner of the Valley, near Gembrook, and might be the coolest microclimate of the Yarra. The site is expertly managed by Greg Kerr, the grower who planted the vineyard in 2001. The soils here are considered very unusual for the Yarra, comprising a seam of black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay with a smattering of granite rock throughout. Furthermore, the quality of the clonal material in Tibooburra supplies Lambert with deeper and darker Syrah fruit that also has more depth and structure. This is what drew him to the site and a good chunk of the reason the Syrah has become a touchstone example of cool-climate Yarra Shiraz.
Handling was pretty similar to the previous vintage(s) - same mix of clones, wild ferment, same oak handling [an 8 year old, 4000 litre, large-format oak]. That said, Lambert worked with a larger percentage (70%) whole bunches in to tauten the wines structure from this sunny and warm season. As always, the wine was left unsulfured until just prior to bottling without fining or filtration.
“This is the Syrah I've been trying to make for 14 years,” states Luke. As an opening statement from such a quietly spoken winemaker, it couldn’t be any more definitive. “It's still light in its feet and framed by crisp acids, but with loads of black pepper spice and the full gamut of red cherry through to sweet blackberry fruit.” Luke also sights the whole bunches playing the key role in supporting the fruit with a bright, refreshing spine of tannins and dried herb complexity. In short, “…something I've been shooting for since I started making my own wine.” Luke Lambert has every right to be so delighted with this wine. It’s the greatest example of this wine we have offered, and we believe one of the very finest young Australian Syrah wines we have tasted. It’s a blinder so don’t miss it.
Yarra Valley Wine
The Yarra Valley wine region is the most important area of wine production in Victoria today, and with its proximity to Melbourne, also the most visited in the state.
Yarra Valley is split into the Upper Yarra and the valley floor. The Upper Yarra is cooler in climate due to its elevation and coupled with younger, fertile, red soils produces most of the region’s notable varietals: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The valley floor is warmer and has predominantly grey soils with pockets of granite and limestone.
Pinot noir has long been considered a notoriously difficult variety to grow. However, the cool climate and longer growing seasons of the Yarra Valley allow the fruit to develop full flavoured and ripe character.
Chardonnay in the past has long been associated with a deep oily, buttery style that experiences full malolactic fermentation and great amounts of oak. This style has since fallen out of favour and wine makers in the Yarra Valley have capitalized on this trend to produce leaner, acid driven Chardonnays that are closer in style to those from Burgundy.
The Wine Front – Boysenberry, cracked pepper, a certain sweet grassy perfume, brown bread and vanilla. Medium bodied, deft and articulate, flavour and impact without heaviness, ripples of ultra-fine tannin, again that cracked wheat/brown bread thing, and a very fine and long finish. You want Australian ‘Syrah’? You got it.
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