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The Woori Yallock epitomises Mac’s passion for exploring the sub-regions and special sites of the Yarra Valley.
To Mac, Pinot Noir is just a vehicle with which to express the vineyard, not the other way around. As he said to us, “we as Aussie producers tend to get sucked into trying to emulate great French Pinot.” He believes that “if you don’t care what it ends up as, but rather just expressing that site and the season”, you’re going to make better, more expressive wines.
Of all the vineyards he works with, this is the one Mac speaks of the most. The wines are richly fruited but highly structural, and very long lived. With the quality of the 2015 season in the region, this is right up there with the finest Pinots Mac has made.
In terms of characterful, story-telling Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, it really doesn’t get much better.
What It Tastes Like
“Slight whiff of smoky reduction, then it’s all clear for rosy perfume, exotic spices, fresh cherry and red fruits. Light of frame, but deep in colour and detail; spice layered through red fruits, cool acidity, gentle grip of fine silty tannin, distinct ‘mineral’ feel, sappy with a fennel mouth-perfume, and powerful length. I’d have liked to have spent more time with it, but no question this is a stellar release. Had 95+ or 96 points. Let me know.” - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
96 points “Slight whiff of smoky reduction, then it’s all clear for rosy perfume, exotic spices, fresh cherry and red fruits. Light of frame, but deep in colour and detail; spice layered through red fruits, cool acidity, gentle grip of fine silty tannin, distinct ‘mineral’ feel, sappy with a fennel mouth-perfume, and powerful length. I’d have liked to have spent more time with it, but no question this is a stellar release. Had 95+ or 96 points. Let me know.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
95 points. “MV6 planted ‘95, standard Mac Forbes vinification/maturation, 300 dozen made. Good hue and clarity,; red cherry fruit with a hint of rhubarb comes in a pure stream of light, but juicy, flavour on the long, well balanced palate. Very attractive wine.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
At 1.36ha, the School House block, owned by the Fergusons, has been leased by Mac Forbes Wines since 2012. The south facing aspect delivers relief to the vines from hot northerly winds. This unique vineyard, planted in 1995, produces stunning fruit in both hot and cooler years and captures much of what we are seeking in terms of suitability of variety to site.
Fruit: 10% whole bunch, hand sorted, portion foot stomped Fermentation: open fermenter Maturation: 12 months in old oak Yeast: indigenous Filtration: none Fining: none
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2034
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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