Tag Archives: Mac Forbes

Let’s Taste – Mac Forbes Coldstream Pinot Noir 2015

If you haven’t listened to it already, on Episode 123 of The Vincast podcast I chatted with winemaker Mac Forbes, who has been working for over 10 years to change perceptions of sub-regional Yarra Valley. He generously gave me a bottle of his 2015 Coldstream Pinot Noir and I was thrilled to share my impressions of the wine here on Let’s Taste. I was particularly thrilled to share the experience with my six-month-old son Ollie!

Mac Forbes Coldstream Pinot Noir 2015 – RRP $50.00

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September 27, 2017 · 8:57 am

The Vincast with Mac Forbes from Mac Forbes Wines

Having worked in the Yarra Valley and spent plenty of time driving around it, I’m amazed at how geographically large and diverse it is. Mac Forbes has been one of the most important wine producers that has attempted to show how different each part of the region can be. He does this through the medium of grape variety, having released a number of sub-regional wines every vintage since 2004. I was thrilled to sit down with him and hear more about his journey and what led him to take such a serious risk in choosing this approach.

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Mac Forbes

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Everything new is old again (Yarra Valley, Victoria – 3/05/2013)

Having worked in the Yarra Valley you would think that I knew the region pretty well. Well think again! For one thing it’s not that easy to get out and see a lot of other stuff whilst working, particularly when you don’t even live in the region. For another thing, the Yarra Valley is probably one of Australia’s largest regions geographically, but at the same is disparate and quite sparsely planted. There are many areas that I am still yet to explore outside of the valley floor. The other thing is that the Yarra Valley is possibly one of Australia’s most dynamic regions for wine, constantly reinventing itself with new wineries and winemakers almost every year. For me the exciting thing about this is that it is also one of Australia’s oldest regions, and was the first to gain international recognition back in the 19th century. It was re-established in the 1970s after almost 100 years of ignominy and since then has continued to evolve and develop while maintaining its boutique image. My quest for the day was to visit producers who have only had their own brand for ten years or less but are turning heads for their style and expression that is challenging preconceptions both of the Yarra Valley and Australian wine.

The best view in the valley

The best view in the valley

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Mac Forbes – 3/05/2013

2013 Strathbogie Riesling outlying rows
Really rich and ripe, bright but still crisp acids. Lovely depth of fruit.

2013 Riesling (better fruit)
More complex nose, bolder but tighter, more subdued and long.

2013 Entry Level Pinot
Bright varietal dark fruits, classic Yarra Valley. Tight bright and straight. Good depth and length for the quality.

2013 Chardonnay Hoddles Creek
Tight flinty finesse.

2013 Chardonnay Seville
Deep and haunting, hustle and flow.

2013 Lusatia Park Chard
Full bold restrained nose, denser ripeness.

2013 Woori Yallock Chardonnay
Bright citrus nose, wonderful minerality and elegance, great structure and length.

2013 Field Blend (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc)
Bright and wild, energetic and fresh but structured and savoury.

2013 Pinot Noir Coldstream
Classic Yarra Valley pinot noir notes. Ripe fruit sweet core, bright light straight. Awesome black cherry concentrated.

2013 Pinot Noir Woori Yallock
Ethereal there but not there, floats and ebbs on the palate, depth and concentration yet elegance and finesse.

2013 Pinot Noir Woori Yallock Middle of Row
A little wilder and more savoury, more whole bunch stalk.

2013 Pinot Noir Woori Yallock Middle oak ferment 4 weeks skins
Much bolder denser texture and dry tannins.

2013 Wesburn Pinot Noir
Darker fruit, more intense but still very light tannins, intensity brute.

2013 Yarra Junction Pinot Noir
Bright fresh vibrant balanced.

2013 Yarra Junction Pinot
Wonderfully bright fresh fruits. Intense but light structure.

2013 Syrah
Intense wild savoury full dark fruit with oodles of freshness.

2012 Hugh Cabernet merlot
Perfect placement.

Woori Yallock Pinot Noir 2010
Bright tight and fresh yet dark intense and savoury. Fresh full of fruit and life, yummy savoury spicy mealy edge, contained and linear yet explosive.

Woori Yallock Pinot Noir 2011
VERY light in colour, almost Bandol rosé/Beaujolais nouveau. Very shy retiring savoury nose. Tight light and a little sharp, delicate structure and subtle elegance, quite early in fact.

Woori Yallock Pinot Noir 2012
Quite closed for now and yet to express. Softer and more delicate with plenty of dark fruit notes. All the elements there.

Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Pinot Noir

Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Pinot Noir

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Is this the most exciting winemaker in Australia?

I think it is only fitting that my first official wine post be about a producer in my spiritual wine home – the Yarra Valley – as I started my wine career working in the cellar door at Chandon before moving into the marketing department. Having worked in the region for over three years and driven over most of it, this was pretty interesting… On the 15th of this month I was lucky enough to be invited to a day exploring the Mac Forbes stomping ground, including a harrowing micro-flight over the region to see each of the many vineyards he sources from. It’s been awhile since I suffered motion sickness – as a child I couldn’t be in a car for more than 4 hours without throwing up – but this flight certainly brought something back up (pun intended, though not literally thank god!) Whilst it was extremely interesting to see the extent and diversity of this misunderstood region from such a height, I struggled with the turbulence and was pretty quiet for the second half of the flight, glad to be back on solid ground once we landed. The helicopter  flight above the McLaren Vale a few months ago was slightly more relaxing.

Quite a view from high above the valley

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