Farvie Frankland River Grenache 2018, Swinney
Glorious, deep raspberry juice colour. Cherry and black raspberry on the nose open to nuances of cassia, black truffle salted caramel and beef stock. In the mouth, it has an astonishingly seamless texture for such a young wine, with flavours of stewed cherries and bittersweet ‘Moro’ – Sicilian blood orange. There is fine acidity and a rounded, warm finish. The wine’s harmonious character will lead to many a bottle being enjoyed early, although like a fine Burgundy, this is intended to develop with age. People told Matt Swinney that he was insane when he planted Grenache in the Frankland River region. The ‘Albany Doctor’ wind blows along the river valley direct from the Southern Ocean, meaning that summertime afternoons and evenings can be distinctly chilly. Combined with reliable sunshine, this promotes the long, slow ripening shared by many of the world’s finest wine regions. Was Matt right? Does the Grenache ripen? Absolutely, and reliably so: under cool but dry and sunny conditions, and helped by the impoverished ironstone gravel soils, well-drained hilltop sites and established bush vines. Farvie Grenache is the result of a ridiculously painstaking selection effort, involving visiting each vine three times to pick out the fruit that has reached the ‘sweet spot’ of optimal ripeness – neither too exposed to the sun, nor too shaded.