Luke Lambert Syrah 2013
100% Syrah. Luke Lambert belongs to the new wave of Australian winemakers that make wines we like to drink— wines with fresh acidity, pure fruit, and limited oak influence. He started out with just a bit of fruit, a small basket press, a tank, and a 30-year-old barrel. A few vintages later, not much has changed. Luke makes his single-vineyard wines from sites with poor, rocky soils in elevated pockets of the Yarra Valley, The fruit is handpicked and wild fermented with no temperature control, new oak, filtration, or fining, and sulfur is used sparingly. These are wines of remarkable quality and character. Luke’s flagship Syrah comes from the coolest section of the Tibooburra vineyard. He uses 40% whole-bunch fermentation here, long maceration, and aging in a large, 30-year-old barrel. The result is astonishing— there is incredible depth and structure on the palate with the added bonus of some age on this wine. You can truly see the power of aging for natural wines while getting to enjoy some oncoming tertiary aromas and flavors. In the end, though, this is a touchstone example of cool-climate Yarra Syrah.