Spinifex Syrah 2020
This is Pete Schell’s higher-toned, more linear, red fruited and floral expression of the Barossa, a yin to Bête Noir’s yang. To this end, Schell sources from “…generally higher, cooler sites, where earlier harvesting gives wines with bright fruit expression and a textural freshness”. The wine—naturally fermented with around 40% whole clusters in a mix of stainless steel, wood and concrete—also sees a shorter maturation than the Esprit and Bête Noir, et al—around eight months on lees prior to bottling without filtration. The 2019 was cropped from five high, exposed parcels in the Barossa and Eden Valleys, where the soils are for the most part light, with varying degrees of gravel and silt and sand. Vine age varies from 20 to 80 years old (averaging around 40 years), and all fruit is handharvested. The first three releases averaged over 95 Halliday points, and the new release is comfortably at the same level, with beautifully sculpted and racy fruit, along with a lifted rosehip notes and some inky depths on the driven finish. Gets more and more perfumed and lively with air: it’s another terrific effort from one of Australia’s most gifted wine people.