Galafrey Mt Barker, with winemaker Kim Tyrer
Galafrey was started in 1977 by Kim’s late father Ian Tyrer. He planted 12ha of vines, and the vineyard is fully unirrigated. The vineyard sits at 260m above sea level which accounts for the natural acid in these wines, on a bed of gravelly loam (‘there might be a bit of clay in there, but very little’).
We struggle sometimes with volume, but that’s ok – the quality is there. MOST of the vines on the property are original vines. The ‘young shiraz’ vines are 20+ years now so… I guess you can’t really call them ‘young’.
We looked through a selection of Kim’s wines, but the riesling was my favourite, and the Muller the surprise packet. I wasn’t aware that there was much Muller planted in WA, I know some in Tasmania and I assume some in South Australia, but otherwise I was largely unaware.
2020 Galafrey Dry Grown Vineyard Mt Barker Muller Thurgau
‘Dr Hickinbothom recommended planting this in 77/78. Dad made it fruit forward, with sweetness’.
These days, the Muller is fermented dry in tank. It’s an early ripening variety and is often picked with the chardonnay (‘one of the first to come off the vineyard’). Kim does some works with skins in the press to help build texture, which is evident in the final wine.
Awesome intensity and purity. Orange peel and turmeric. I think this is delicious. Viscose and rich but the tannins are powder fine and grippy.
2020 Galafrey Reserve Riesling, Mt Barker
‘compared to ’19, 20 was great’. All the power and intensity is in the middle palate. Not in the back. The wine is totally naturally balanced in the vineyard. We pick it a bit riper, but all natural acids etc.
Talcy and floral nose, perhaps more so than previous vintages. The palate is intense and focused, searing acidity – an austerity that makes it almost hard, but gosh it’s good. Phenolic structure provides a framework from which the fruit clings. There is a saline flick through the finish – crushed oyster shell, creamy… yep. Yes. Yes. Really smart.
I grew up in the vineyards. Mum had one of those ‘Mary Poppins’ style prams, and I used to be in there with the cuttings – she’d plant and push me along.