Grape growers to winemakers is a familiar story in the land of Oz, but here’s a winery that’s definitely worthy of your attention. The Swinney property in Frankland River was established in 1922, and has long provided high quality fruit to many of Western Australia’s top wineries.
In the last decade, fourth generation Matt Swinney established the Swinney label, with a concise range of four wines featuring Shiraz and Riesling, and complemented by two tri-varietal blends.
Ranked in James Halliday’s Top Ten new wineries of 2015, Swinney has built a loyal following among the Australian wine media, with scores consistently in the 90s. Key to the wine’s success is the location of the vineyards. Some 220km south east of Margaret River, Frankland River enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with long summer days and cool nights. Soil also plays a key part. Ironstone-based gravel over sandy loam soils retain water and are key in the dry summer months.
The 2015 Swinney Shiraz, is a beautifully elegant and supple wine. Whole bunch pressing and a natural yeast ferment ensures great expression, coupled with 12 months in French oak, which ensures fine tannin structure and enviable length. A great wine to taste blind alongside a selection of northern Rhone.
Swinney is also keen to experiment with a range of European varietals, which is evidenced in their two tri-varietal blends. Swinney Tirra Lirra Red blends Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, offering blackcurrant and cherry on the palate with well-balanced acidity.
Riesling from the Frankland River has an avid following, and Swinney’s Tirra Lirra White blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer blends the three varieties to great effect. The final blend enjoys four months lees contact adding weight and texture to the wine, but still retaining a crisp acidity.