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There are certain sites in the Yarra Valley which are perfect for producing Syrah.
Caroline Mooney has lucked out with one such site. It’s a low yeilding vineyard in Yarra Glen, planted on “lean gravely soils”, the fruit comes off at perfect ripeness and needs no adjusting in the winery.
The 2013 vintage has been herallded as “simply, impressive.” by James Halliday (96 points) and “irresistible” by Campbell Mattinson (95 points) showing the true potential for this variety in the Yarra.
If you want a cool, classy, refined Syrah, this is going to hit the mark perfectly.
What It Tastes Like
“Some wines just seem ready to shine. This is one such. The aromas and flavours stride out in confident, ordered, appealing lines, like patterns, like chords. Roasted nuts, black cherries, plums, meats, wood smoke. It’s ripe but fresh, fun but lengthy. Ultimately it is, simply, impressive.” - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
96 points. “Some wines just seem ready to shine. This is one such. The aromas and flavours stride out in confident, ordered, appealing lines, like patterns, like chords. Roasted nuts, black cherries, plums, meats, wood smoke. It’s ripe but fresh, fun but lengthy. Ultimately it is, simply, impressive.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
95 points “Can’t say I know anything about this wine, save that it’s Yarra Valley, Syrah, is made by Caroline Mooney and is very damn good. Caroline Mooney grew up in the Yarra Valley and has accrued extensive winemaking experience both in Australia and abroad; it shows in the wine. Indeed more on her winemaking experience can be found here.
I’m paid to taste wine and then to spit it out but this one, well, a good deal of it slipped past the gates. It’s irresistible in a cool climate shiraz way. Nutty, meaty, smoky and flush with dark, peppery, cherry-plum flavour. It’s still coming together but there’s enough here already to make an excellent impression. It makes room for finesse too, particularly in the fineness of its tannin. It’s a ripe, certain, confident wine; it takes the world on.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
93 points “I was quite taken with Caroline Mooney’s Bird on a Wire Chardonnay the other week, and the Syrah is equally clever.
What I really like is the detail. That sense of ripeness yet without heaviness. Smart. Deep red maroon with lighter edges, this has a suggestion of slightly stewed red plum fruit but it doesn’t carry through onto the sophisticated palate. There is red meat, pan juices and cranberry, before a lithe and even crunchy back end that has the barest hints of warmth and then a bony finish. No questions here about the cool clime context, even despite the warm year whispers of cooked fruit. Classy, and exactly what you’d want a Yarra Syrah/Shiraz to be. 18/20, 93/100. 14.1%, $40. Would I buy it? I’d go a few glasses.”
- Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review)
Bird on a Wire Syrah 2013
The Syrah fruit is sourced from a vineyard in Yarra Glen, which is on an ENE slope optimising the warm sun but protecting fruit from Australia’s harsh afternoon summer sun. The soils are lean and gravelly which helps regulate vine vigour and crop load per vine.
Small crops result in intense flavours and the lean soils enhance the texture and savoury aspects of the fruit.
No acid adjustments have been made to this wine.
This wine is a testament to the superior site on which the Shiraz vines are planted. In what was a difficult growing season for Syrah this site with it’s sun catching aspect and steep gravelly soils allowed the fruit to withstand the high rainfall due to run off from the slope, and maximise sunlight hours. This in turn reduced the disease pressure being felt from less fortunate sites. The ripening process was slow but resulted in excellent flavour development at low baumé.
The cool year and long season has produced a wine that reflects the flinty/ hot-rock characters of the site and, the spicy, peppery and dark berry characters of the fruit.
Oak treatment included 25% new. No Fining, no filtration.
I would recommend decanting prior to serving.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2026
About the Producer
Bird on a Wire
Yarra Valley local, Caroline Mooney is the mastermind behind Bird on a Wire. With only three wines in the range, she has deliberately managed to keep the focus tight and the quality of her wines high. They are made with a gentle touch and sourced from a selection of some of the Yarra’s most beautiful vineyards.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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