Syrah vs Shiraz. In Australia, the nomenclature often sheds light on a winemaker’s desire to indicate something different is going on with a particular wine.
For wines that are bottled under the banner ‘Syrah’, there is a pretty good chance that the wine is likely to lean towards a more savoury, European-style rendition of the grape variety rather than the fruit-forward, dense, opulent red wines that we have a reputation for being rather good at.
In this particular case, Eden Valley winemaker Phil Lehmann does indeed treat his Syrah a little differently than the Shiraz that also hails from his Boongarrie vineyard. For starters, it is harvested a little earlier and there is a significant whole bunch component (30 per cent) in the small ferments.
We’ve chatted about whole bunches in ferments before, yeah? When done well, and in vintages when the prevailing conditions are conducive to their use, they seem to open a wine up and let a little more light shine on the fruit. A little more clarity and detail along with notes of spice and a distinct mineral line on the palate.
And here they are spot on, with a gorgeous vibrant colour and stunning aromatic profile providing an immediate insight in the glass. The fruit purity is off the charts. Cherry and plummy fruits abound, flecked with violets and spice, the wine is perfectly poised on the palate with great tension and a supple, slinky mouthfeel.
It is a seriously lovely wine, good to tuck away over the medium-term but reality would suggest it is probably too drinkable for that.
MAX & ME 2017 Boongarrie Vineyard Syrah
Header photo: Kim Jericho