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.
Shy and complex. Lower tones of sulphides, mulch, dark sour cherry and fresh plums.
Tannins build from the back carrying a ferrous tang. Wine is focused and shy holding out a little right now. Needs air and time. A wine to watch closely over time. Still water runs deep. (Tasting note from August 2014)
Notes from Mac - "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."
"The growing season of vintage 2013 started well with budburst for Chardonnay mid-September," said Mac. "This trend continued through spring with vines using stored moisture well into November. By December however, we were looking for moisture. In addition to this, temperatures were considerably up in January having 14 days over 30°C and multiple peaks over 39°C. This was accompanied by just 3.6mm of recorded rainfall (effectively none). The trend continued into February with 17 days over 30°C combined with the bare minimum amount of rain. The high temperatures and lack of water meant we saw early veraison and vines push their fruit to maturity very quickly, this resulted in one of the most compressed vintages of recent times. The Wesburn vineyard was picked by hand on the 24th February 2013."
About Mac Forbes
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 winemakers, but he’s one of the most influential spokesmen for promoting the concept of Australian ‘terroir’, believing that wine should represent a time and a place.
Mac specialises in single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet from the Yarra Valley. His wines are delicate and finely etched, characterised by subtlety and grace.
His Pinot Noirs are fine-boned, 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 Strathbogie Ranges are some of the country's most unique.
And his ever-expanding range of experimental wines is a treasure-trove for the curious drinker and he is honestly one of the most genuine and affable winemakers you'll ever meet!
|12.2% alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle
|Chicken or Turkey
|11 months in new and old oak