Swinney Farvie 2021 Vintage Review
Barry Weinman: 1st June 2023
If Swinney is not a household name for wine lovers across Australia, it should be, given the quality of the fruit that they produce, and the famous wineries who are queueing to buy fruit each year.
With such high-quality fruit, it stands to reason that the wines made under the Swinney label should also be very good. Add winemaker Rob Mann into the equation and all the ingredients are in place to make great wines.
What is surprising is that, in just a few vintages, the wines under the Farvie label are challenging as some of the best cooler climate wines made from Rhone varietals in Australia.
There was a lot of talk about the climatic conditions for the 2021 vintage in Frankland, but with the mourvèdre and shiraz (in particular), the wines are nothing short of spectacular. Unfortunately, no Farvie grenache was produced that year, as the fruit did not quite make the standard required for the label.
The attention to detail in the vineyard is key to the quality of these wines. With the shiraz, for example, shade cloth was positioned on the west side of the vines to shade the fruit from the afternoon sun. The vineyards that produced these wines are also dry-grown.
In the winery, the biggest surprise for me was the fact that no new oak is used in either wine. Large format three & four-year-old barrels were used and, in the case of the mourvèdre, only one 600l demi muid was used resulting in only 63 dozen being produced.
The shiraz is also produced in small quantities, and in 2021, only 220 dozen were produced.
Swinney – Farvie – Syrah – 2021. Oh wow. This smells quite stunning. Spectacular ripe fruit leaps from the glass, no doubt accentuated by the use of 58% whole bunches in the ferment. The palate is firm and taut, but everything is in place. The plum like fruit is supported by spice, coffee and chocolate notes. The finish is defined by silky tannins, immense length of flavours and seamless palate transition. This is as close to perfection as any Australian wine that I have tried. 97pts.
Swinney – Farvie – Mourvèdre – 2021. First impressions here are somewhat different to the shiraz. This is dense, dark and brooding, with powerful fruit underpinning the chewy textural notes. But with air, the fruit blossoms, with beautifully fragrant and aromatic fruit stealing the show. It actually took two days for this to hit its peak, so cellaring is sure to be rewarded if you can find a few bottles. 95 – 96pts.