Mac Forbes grew up in the Yarra Valley but set off to see the wine making world. Working in France, Italy, Australia, Portugal and Mount Mary in the Yarra. In 2004 when he returned home he was convinced that Australia was capable of making sub-regional and site specific wines and that, with a bit of hard work, the humble Yarra Valley could be making some amazing terroir driven wines. We don’t have the benefit of bored Cistercian monks, but we do have Mac.
In the search for perfect site expression Mac is not scared to push boundaries and experiment. Mostly he uses Pinot Noir to do a tour of Upper and Lower Yarra sub regions. What comes through is the diversity of styles within a concentrated area, also that Mac is a pretty darn good winemaker who is refining his craft and improving all the time.
Ruby in colour. Earthy, silt, chocolate, meaty and dense with a hint of stems. There is sweet red fruits and perfume on the powerful, silky and long palate. This is probably the most impressive wine of the line up but the one that needs the most time. Lots of time.
A region that is just too big to generalise about. The difference between Upper and Lower Yarra can be the ability to ripen some grapes or not. Great wines are made in the Yarra but it is best to know the producers.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.