Farvie Frankland River Grenache 2019, Swinney


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2019 was a colder vintage than 2018, and this is reflected in the fresh vibrancy of the wine. It has fabulously precise, bright acidity and beautiful refinement of texture. It tastes less ready than either the 2018 or 2020 vintages. Drink 2026-2036. 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.