Victoria’s Yarra Valley is known for producing some of Australia’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but ferret around and you will find the region’s strengths lie in many varieties, Syrah being one.
With many vintages in France and Austria in his quiver and a portfolio of some of this country’s best Rieslings, it seems that winemaker Mac Forbes can also conjure up a pretty mean Syrah from the lean, gravelly soils from his property in between Healesville and Woori Yallock. Saturated red/purple in the glass, here is a wine that smells like it hasn’t been mucked around with in the cellar too much, guided gently to the bottle rather than forced to go places it would rather not. There is a solid core of black fruit at its centre – blackberry, black plum and cherry, and a vinous note, too – crunchy black grapes and fermenty characters. Too many wines forget to smell like grapes methinks. Hints of spice, black licorice and earthen notes fall in behind, but this wine is really all about the fruit. Medium–bodied in the mouth with some crunch and spark to its form. Again, black– fruits flow across the palate, laden with spice, roasting meats and earthy notes but there is a distinct European–type vibe in the way it interacts with the palate. It’s savoury for starters, spacious and light on its feet and has a chalky tannin structure that gently tugs at the roof of the mouth while the lovely, sapid acid line drives the beat along. It’s quite lovely. MAC FORBES 2015 Healesville Syrah