Region: Yarra Valley
Ageing Potential: Drink now - 2023
Perfect with: Pan Fried New York Sirloin with Mash Potatoes
You’ll love if you love: Rhone Valley Syrah, cool climate, elegant Shiraz
Why you’ll love it:
“Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free”
Bird on a Wire label name was inspired by the lyrics from a song by Leonard Cohen. Winemaker Winemaker Caroline Mooney was born and bred in the Yarra Valley, she did a stint in the Rhone Valley with her husband at the iconic JL Chave estate. This sparked Caroline’s love for the 3 grape varieties she is now solely producing: Syrah, Chardonnay and Marsanne.
The Syrah fruit is sourced from a vineyard in Yarra Glen, which is on an ENE slope optimising the warm sun but protecting fruit from Australia’s harsh afternoon summer sun. The soils are lean and gravelly which helps regulate vine vigour and crop load per vine. All natural acidity, aged in 25% new French oak and no filtration.
Deep ruby red in colour. Nose is intensely perfumed, dark cherry, rose petals, blackcurrant and a touch of meatiness and smokiness. You could easily mistaken this for a Northern Rhone Syrah. Palate is elegant and concentrated with silky tannins and balanced acidity. Flavours of black cherries, dark plums, blackcurrant, black pepper, savoury and a tiny hint of vanilla.
96 points. “Some wines just seem ready to shine. This is one such. The aromas and flavours stride out in confident, ordered, appealing lines, like patterns, like chords. Roasted nuts, black cherries, plums, meats, wood smoke. It’s ripe but fresh, fun but lengthy. Ultimately it is, simply, impressive.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
95 points “Can’t say I know anything about this wine, save that it’s Yarra Valley, Syrah, is made by Caroline Mooney and is very damn good. Caroline Mooney grew up in the Yarra Valley and has accrued extensive winemaking experience both in Australia and abroad; it shows in the wine. Indeed more on her winemaking experience can be found here.
I’m paid to taste wine and then to spit it out but this one, well, a good deal of it slipped past the gates. It’s irresistible in a cool climate shiraz way. Nutty, meaty, smoky and flush with dark, peppery, cherry-plum flavour. It’s still coming together but there’s enough here already to make an excellent impression. It makes room for finesse too, particularly in the fineness of its tannin. It’s a ripe, certain, confident wine; it takes the world on.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
17/20 – From a hand-picked vineyard that was a Yering Station vineyard. Sits on a hill off the tail end of the Dividing Range, an east-northeast slope. Soil is high in iron, so it gets gravelly tannins. Dry and low cropping. Very deep crimson. Never tasted anything so liquorice-like, right on the end like sucking a liquorice lace! Not just smelling like it. Long. Drink 2018 – 2023.
– Jancis Robinson, 14 November 2019