In a nutshell: A soft, fleshy and delicious Australian Syrah from Victoria's Yarra Valley.
The lowdown: The somewhat idiosyncratic Payten & Jones certainly make mouthwatering wines as naturally as possible and with minimum intervention throughout. At each part of the process from grape to glass the aim is to keep things as raw and interesting as possible, something they achieve with no small amount of skill. This Syrah of theirs is a perfect example; it packs a fruit filled punch and slight, but intentional haziness. There's a quite appealing savouriness and coupled with the delicate fragrance on the nose it makes a very interesting wine with a lot going on.
When to drink: If well made natural wines are your thing this is one to take a close look at..
From Healesville in the Yarra Valley just north east of Melbourne father and son Peter and Behn Payten along with Troy Jones ,with whom Behn grew up, form the business. Viticulturalist Peter Payten is a pioneer of organics in Australia having managed the country's first certified organic vineyard way back in 1971. One of their aims is to push the winemaking boundaries a bit while making some interesting wines along the way and this short extract from their website neatly encapsulates their ethos. 'We're Yarra Valley winemakers, and our wines are a little different to the big guys. Minimal intervention, a bit of raw processes, nothing too filtered or cleaned up in any way. Our wines aren't squeaky clean. They're a bit edgy. Always interesting, delicious, completely smashable, with a little soul left in. So if that's what you're looking for, well, sweet!'
In true Aussie style they certainly don't take themselves too seriously, but that doesn't mean they're casual in their approach to making wine and while they'e completely committed to sustainability, minimal intervention and natural winemaking the care and attention they take is second to none.