Here Empire of Dirt put a more European twist on the classic Australian 'Shiraz', creating a style that nods to the wines of the Northern Rhone. Instead of following the famed Barossa archetype (often with a very rich, intense profile and high alcohol), their 2020 Syrah is bright and luscious, with supple tannins and a lively acidity that balances it out perfectly. Serious winemaking to produce a wine that doesn't take itself too seriously. If you love a damn good, spicy red, this is an absolute 'must drink'.
13.5% alcohol. This is beautiful: it’s bright and peppery with nice spicy detail, but also has a lushness to the palate with sweet berry and cherry fruit, and also some sweet green hints. So textural with a lovely spicy flourish alongside the sweet fruit. Lovely stuff.
Empire of Dirt is an exclusive label made in partnership with Pinot Noir genius Timo Mayer, by his son Rivar. Today the Yarra is feted for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but historically there was a broader mix of grapes grown, think Mount Mary and Coldstream Hills. Timo and Rivar find well-managed vineyards which they think are producing good fruit. They then make the wine simply with a percentage of whole bunch fermentation, which is Timo's trademark, and no additions.
Rivar seems to have inherited his father’s down-to-earth turn of phrase: ‘The Savvy comes from a vineyard next to us which the old man looks after. It was whole-bunch pressed, with a third crushed and left overnight before pressing. We wanted to give the wine more varietal characters and texture. The wine had good acidity and didn't need any additions apart from a little sulphur. Good S**t.’