De Bortoli La Boheme Act Four Syrah Gamay 2011 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
13%, Screwcap, $20
Sophisticated packaging, careful winemaking and interesting blends – these La Boheme wines are very clever indeed.
Listen to this for some artisan winemaking:
‘A mixture of whole bunches and whole berries with a little bit of early
stomping to create some juice to start the ‘wild’ ferment. Occasional
foot stomping and the odd pump over. 15 days on skins then pressed and
racked to 500 litre casks for 10 months.’
That sort of craftmanship wouldn’t be out of place on a $70 Syrah and is unheard of in a freely available, $20 red. De Bortoli, I dip my lid.
Plenty of intrigue on the nose too, with the fragrant, curranty lightness of the vintage showing through alongside tobacco and a smoky, formic furry wildness. I’d like to see more concentration on the pointed palate, the edges thinned out in typical ’11 fashion, yet the secondary, intriguing spicy, undergrowth-meets-berries style is admirable. Skinny but impressively formed and drinkable, I can’t wait to see this in a riper vintage.
Drink: 2013- 2016
Score: 16/20 87/100
Would I buy it? Not yet. Next year though?