Swinney Riesling 2023

$37.00
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It’s one thing to aim for the stars; it’s quite another to have the tools to get there. Matt Swinney had a powerful vision to establish a benchmark and unique vineyard on his family’s property, situated on the gravelly, ironstone soils of the Frankland. His intention was always to found a benchmark wine label using only the finest fruit, but good things take time—especially when it comes to vines! Most plantings occurred in 1998, and the site quickly garnered a reputation for quality and originality. Innovations such as planting bush vines (the first in modern-day WA, where they are virtually unknown) and taking the leap with Grenache and Mourvèdre (in a region that many felt was too cool for these Mediterranean varieties) certainly raised eyebrows. 

Fast forward to today, and the Swinney estate has become regarded by many as the finest Shiraz vineyard in WA, not to mention an excellent source for Frankland River Riesling. More recently, in 2018, the Swinneys invited renowned winemaker Rob Mann to join the team. Mann is the grandson of the legendary Jack Mann—the godfather of Western Australian wine—and is internationally respected in his own right after his work at Cape Mentelle, Hardy’s Tintara and Newton in the Napa.

The first key to understanding Swinney’s Riesling style is to appreciate the farming. All blocks are organic and dry-farmed, the vines are cane-pruned and the row orientation is north to south. The team uses shade cloth in the Riesling blocks, protecting the bunches from excessive sun exposure and avoiding any roasted character in the fruit. Such precise vineyard management goes some way to explaining the wine’s purity and transparency.

“Happy lemons! Fresh lemonade, lemon slices with a sprinkle of sugar. A bright sunny day. No worries. It has a satin texture, like icing sugar made with, well, lemon juice. In other words, excellent balance of concentrated fruitiness and abundance of cool and smooth limey acidity. This drinks like a charm, it’s moreish, so positive it puts a smile on your face. A beam of sunlight, a cool drink in hand on a hot day. Melting in the mouth with a minty aftertaste and it’s feather-light too. It’s more than a sum of aromas and flavours, it’s liquid energy!” Fantastic stuff.” 96 points | Kasia Sobiesiak | WineFront

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