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The Luke Lambert Syrah is always made with a deft touch.
Luke’s choice of vineyard in the South-West of the Yarra Valley (some of the coolest terrain in the region) offers him the opportunity to make a wine of unique elegance and finesse.
Given the warmer conditions of 2016, this wine was fermented with 70% whole bunches to give added structure and backbone to the fruit from this sunny season. The wine is beautifully balanced, refined and pure-fruit once again, all the hallmarks of Luke’s signature Syrah style.
As Gary Walsh noted in his sensational 95 point review, “It doesn’t grunt, it sings.”
What It Tastes Like
Purple fruit, lick of soft green herbal notes, lavender, violet and blackberries just on the verge of ripeness. It opens up beautifully in the glass. Taught spider web tannins coat the mouth. Slippery fruit flows along the strands. It’s quite beautiful.
95 points. “I’m no expert on Shiraz, in particular, but I reckon this is one of the best, and most interesting in the country. Blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, spice and perfume, slight whiff of mescal. Medium bodied, distinct ‘mineral’ feel to both acidity and tannin, layers of spice laced through a spectrum of berries, grilled meat, long bright finish, potpourri fragrance as it goes down the hatch. Vivid and articulate. It doesn’t grunt, it sings.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
93 points “No wonder it sells out fast. From the start, this is gently spicy Shiraz with bright fruit and light tannins. That graceful, peppery, mid-weight style helps gives this a real delicacy, as if we’re talking Pinot rather than Shiraz. Peppercorns meet mulberry, the acid low, with just a little intrusion of firm edges courtesy of the whole bunches. Lovely wine that entrances with its easy balance between serious tannins and sour fruit, with a generous beauty that is easy to appreciate (and so easy to drink). Not a profound wine, but a delicious one.”
- Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review)
Tibooburra vineyard. This southwest sloping site lies in the southeastern corner of the Valley, near Gembrook, and might be the coolest microclimate of the Yarra. The site is expertly managed by Greg Kerr, the grower who planted the vineyard in 2001. The soils here are considered very unusual for the Yarra, comprising a seam of black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay with a smattering of granite rock throughout.
Wild ferment with 70% whole bunches and sent to eight-year-old large format oak for maturation. Unsulphured until just prior to bottling.
Closure: Diam Cork
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2028
About the Producer
Luke Lambert is one of the young guns of the Yarra Valley. His wines are distinctly ‘old world’ in style, with his philosophy being all about wines reflecting their place and terroir, and of minimal intervention in the winery.
Contrary to many of his Pinot Noir-obsessed contemporaries in the Yarra, Luke focuses on Syrah and Nebbiolo as his flagship red varieties. He uses judicious amounts of whole bunch in his traditionally inspired winemaking, gently drawing out the very essence of the special sites he sources fruit from. There is little doubt Luke will continue to produce some of the region’s most exciting wines over the coming years, he is a future icon of this Victorian region.
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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