Wine of the week: one of the greatest grenaches

This very serious Australian red tastes like nothing else made from Grenache, says Matthew Jukes.

2018 Swinney, Farvie Frankland River grenache, WA


I recently published an in-depth review of the inaugural releases of Matt Swinney and Rob Mann’s astonishing new Farvie duo on my website, so do have a look if you fancy learning the whole story. This grape-growing and winemaking project has given rise to one of the greatest grenaches I have ever tasted and it is my featured wine today. In addition to this wine, there is a sibling syrah, which is simply awesome, and also a riesling (both the 2019 and 2020 are amazing), grenache, syrah and grenache/syrah/mourvèdre blend (the 2018s and 2019s are all insanely delicious), which are priced around the £24-mark. These are all epic too.

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But back to the 2018 Farvie grenache. I gave this wine a score of 19.5/20, the highest I have ever given a debut vintage release of any wine. This is a very serious red indeed and it gives me more pleasure than almost anything I can think of this year. I have tasted nothing like it, at least made from grenache. The mineral-soaked palate reminds me of elite nebbiolo, visceral, elemental pinot noir, majestic baga and other red grapes that celebrate mouth-watering bitterness!

Insane vibrations emanate from the soil here, making this fruit so toned. The flavour silhouette is slender, athletic and immensely powerful and yet the flavour is gentle, caressing, magical and life-fulfilling. It is a near-perfect wine.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.