If ever there was a wine, a winery and a winemaker team that was destined for greatness and a bright future, it's Rob and Geneieve Mann's Corymbia.
Based in the Swan Valley, just a short-hop north of Perth in Western Australia, and named after the native Marri Blossom that grows in the area, Corymbia's rise to the head of the class has been swift, and entirely deserved.
You see, Rob is the Grandson of the great Jack Mann, who helped to put the region on the map after working 51 consecutive vintages at local stalwart Houghton. Rob and Genevieve have a long and spirited history in the wine industry for such young souls, having spent time learning the ropes under the formidable Stephen Pannell at Hardy's together, Rob then took a turn as senior winemaker at Hardy's Tintara, and then at the Napa's Newton Vineyard. While Genevieve worked vintages across the globe, and finally landed herself a gig at Howard Park in the Margaret River.
The two extremely talented winemakers now call their dry-grown Swan Valley vineyard home and in just a few short vintages, they've already left an indellible mark on the trade.
This Tempranillo, Malbec & Cabernet blend is not unlike the Spanish influenced wines of their McLaren Vale former colleague SC Pannell. Clean, bright, precise fruit, crunchy fresh acidity and moreish, sculptured tannins.
In October - this wine was awarded the inaugural Wine of the Year Award at the Western Australian Good Food Guide, judge by Mike Bennie and Sommelier of the Year Emma Farrelly. Mike declared the pedigree and attention to detail shown in the elegant and vivacious wine to be the reason behind their choice, noting 'It's a wine that asserts its elegance and drinability'.
If Corymbia is a new name to you, then let this be the start of an exciting new friendship as beforelong, this winery will be kindly regarded alongside the best of the state.
"Let's be honest, this vintage kept us waiting. Unseasonal rain in February saw the Swan River reach peak levels that left some vineyards in the Swan Valley under water. Our family vineyard fortunately avoided wet feet. The Marri blossom featured on our label is indicative of the unseasonal rains and cooler temperatures in the lead up to harvest. Despite picking our grapes 5 weeks late, we feel the wine expresses the qualities of the Swan Valley that Rob’s family have admired of the region for over 100 years.
The grapes for our 2017 Corymbia were hand harvested together to create a field blend of 69% Tempranillo, 19% Malbec and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were individually berry sorted prior to carbonic maceration and natural fermentation in a single French oak vat. Maturation followed in seasoned French oak barriques for 10 months. The wine is vibrant, savoury and eminently drinkable."
Ron and Genevieve Mann
Corymbia is the deep-rooted, far-sighted vision of husband-and wife-team, Rob and Genevieve Mann. The Mann name is synonymous with Western Australia’s Swan Valley, where Rob’s pioneering grandfather Jack worked a remarkable 51 consecutive vintages for Houghton. Rob was just a boy when he joined his father - former Australian test cricketer Tony - in planting the vines on what is now the dry-grown, organically farmed Corymbia vineyard. After building an exceptional reputation in their own right, the couple kicked off their homecoming dream, Corymbia, with the 2013 vintage, during Rob’s tenure as estate director at Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley. Now firmly ensconced back in the Swan Valley, Rob and Gen’s Chenin Blanc and Tempranillo-dominant red blend sit at the heart of a bright future for this brilliant duo.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
69% Tempranillo, 19% Malbec and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Swan Valley vs Spain here, and a damned tasty thing it is too. I’m thinking plum and dark cherries, spice, subtle vanilla perfume, coffee beans and earth. Medium-bodied, wide-grained ripe but sandy skinsy tannin, fleshy mid-palate action, even acidity, cola nut, more to red fruits to taste, grip and savoury appeal on a solid finish. I seem to be stuck on 93 points (a good score!) for this wine, yet I’m tempted to push it up a little this year. Anyway, it’s well worth seeking out.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
The blend is unusual, but works. The aroma and palate are very ripe, sweet and concentrated. Dense blackberry and spice flavours with lashings of tannin. A big, solid wine with grip and vibrancy which will cellar superbly.
NICK STOCK - JAMESSUCKLING.COM
This has a very plush, nicely assembled, long and fresh feel with a smooth, liquorice finish. Drink now. Screw cap.
The pedigree of the winemaker and attention to detail have combined to make the Corymbia Tempranillo Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon a wine of great distinction. There is no escaping the elegance, detail and interest in this wine. It’s a satiny, bright and vivacious red of easy drinking but good architecture, shape and complexity. There’s long and rolling dark berry, truffle, olive and dried herb characters with beautiful, ripe, spice-laden perfume in tow. It’s a wine that asserts its elegance and drinkability.
Winner - Wine of the Year
West Australian Good Food Guide 2019