2019 Mac Forbes EB56 Italian Stallion Dolcetto

Yarra Valley, Australia

Mac (short for Macgregor) grew up in the Yarra Valley, but at 18 Mac packed his bags and headed to Europe. After a while he found himself short on cash; conveniently, he was in the south of France during harvest and found work at a winery. Despite the long hours and hard, physical work (not to mention electrocuting himself a couple times), Mac fell for the excitement and camaraderie of harvest and winemaking. He returned to Australia in ‘04 with a mission: to better understand Australia’s climate and soils and make authentic wine that truly reflected the region. Now firmly entrenched in the Yarra with 6 vineyard sites and a range of old and younger vineyards, Mac sees the future as an exciting period where much of the Yarra nuances will be revealed with greater clarity.

Mac focuses pretty heavily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but with his “EB” (Experimental Batch) line, he plays around with varietals that are considered a bit more obscure, especially for the region.

Here we’ve got the EB56 Italian Stallion Dolcetto. The 2019 was Mac’s first crack at Dolcetto, which means “little sweet one” in Italian, not because the grapes have high sugar levels, but because they are tiny. Because the grapes are tiny that means that there is a lot of skin contact and therefor extraction of both colour and flavour. This wine is amazing with super full, juicy flavours of blackberries, ripe black plums, dark chocolate, almonds and black pepper. It’s medium bodied with fresh, vibrant acidity making it dangerously drinkable and giving it the ability to pair with a range of different dishes. I’d give it a go with a hearty Bolognese on pappardelle.