An afternoon with Mac Forbes


It was a gloriously sunny day here in London. I discovered, to my great advantage, that my netbook screen is visible even in bright sunlight, so I spent the morning sitting outside. My garden is my new office. I managed to write a column for one of my regular publications (Hong Kong Tatler; it was on Douro wines) while enjoying a rare experience of English sunshine.

Then it was time for some family therapy. We have some struggles with our family, and professional help is welcome. After this, it was off into town to meet with one of my favourite winemakers, Mac Forbes, who is making a thrilling range of Pinot Noirs, top Rieslings and some impressive Chardonnay and Syrah from the Yarra Valley and Strathbogie Ranges.

I’ve written up Mac’s wines before. He just seems to understand wine at a deep level. He began his career with Mount Mary (fabulous, long-lived wines from the Yarra which Robert Parker absolutely hates) and has spent time with Dirk Niepoort. His Pinot Noirs are fantastically elegant, and are the real deal. The 2008s are developing beautifully. He really suffered along with the rest of the Yarra in 2009 with smoke taint issues from the bush fires, which mean his production will be slashed drastically, but his 2010s, he assures me, are a step further than anything he has yet made.

Aside from scores, I guess a measure of how good someone’s wines are is how happy you are when they let you take a couple of bottles home with you after a tasting. I was just thrilled when Mac gave me the Gruyere and Woori Yallock 2008 Pinot Noirs to take away. They’re superbly elegant, complex Pinots that are totally world class.

Fiona is away for the evening, so younger son and I had a BBQ. A lovely end to a nice day.

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