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Making the 'Wesi', as Mac calls it, was one of those lightbulb wine moments for this wild-haired Yarra Valley champion. He says that this is the vineyard that made him see clearly for the first time, that his mission was not to be a great maker of Pinot Noir, but to be a conduit through which a vineyard could tell its story, regardless of the variety planted on it. "Amazingly we see all wines from this site look similar be they red or white." Wesburn just tastes like Wesburn, not just Pinot Noir. It is always one of his smallest productions each year and, along with the Woori Yallock Pinot Noir, one of the most sort after. With 95 points from James Halliday and Gary Walsh, the 2015 is one of the best releases from this vineyard to date.
What it Tastes Like
"Raspberry and dark cherry, perfume and spice wafting about, with some aniseed blowing cooler notes. It’s smooth and fine, with dense silty tannin, though feels light in weight overall. There’s a slight but pleasant tartness to the acidity, though it’s submerged under layers of spice and ripe red fruits. Finish is long and precise. Certainly the excess is gone, and it feels trimmed back to the bone, but its structure and ‘fine wine’ feel is the overarching theme. Top shelf." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
95 points "Raspberry and dark cherry, perfume and spice wafting about, with some aniseed blowing cooler notes. It’s smooth and fine, with dense silty tannin, though feels light in weight overall. There’s a slight but pleasant tartness to the acidity, though it’s submerged under layers of spice and ripe red fruits. Finish is long and precise. Certainly the excess is gone, and it feels trimmed back to the bone, but its structure and ‘fine wine’ feel is the overarching theme. Top shelf." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) 95 points. "Clear, bright crimson-purple; fragrant red and black cherry fruit on the bouquet, changing gears on the complex, savoury sour cherry palate with some echoes of stemmy whole bunch. Works very well, almost in spite of itself." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Wesburn was unloved until a few years ago. Planted in 1981, this vineyard, in the far eastern reaches of the Yarra (just before Warburton), sits in the fringe of what many consider marginal viticultural land. It is these sites that truly inspire us and have the potential to make our most exciting wines. The site sits on our beloved siltstone clay soils at the foot of Mount Bride (1000m) which offers cooler nights and mornings. The resultant extension of the ripening period expresses itself by way of far greater tannin depth, high notes and fruit weight. Sometimes walking the fine line reaps rewards. Fruit: 10% whole bunch, partially de-stemmed, portion foot stomped Fermentation: open fermenter Maturation: 12 months in old oak Yeast: indigenous Filtration: none
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
If you love premium and artisanal Australian wine, Mac Forbes is a name you need to know. He’s not only one of the country’s most talented young winemakers, but he’s an influential spokesman for the concept of ‘terroir’, believing that wine should represent a time and a place.
Mac specialises in single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley. His wines are delicate and finely etched, characterised by subtlety and grace. His Chardonnays are loved by those who look for fruit purity rather than winemaking artifice in the variety, his array of off-dry Rieslings from the Strathboogie Ranges are some of the country’s most unique. And his ever-expanding range of experimental wines are a treasure-trove for the curious drinker.
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.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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