Wine of the Month – Warramunda ‘Liv Zak’ Syrah – 2017

The Estate.

When customers inquire as to what my favorite destinations may be in the Yarra Valley, I often mention Warramunda Estate. As a family owned business, the family are usually in attendance for a warm and instructive cellar door experience.  Most importantly, the wines are delicious.

Believed to be an Aboriginal term meaning ‘Wait for tomorrow’ Warramunda is located on the famous south side of the Maroondah Highway in Coldstream, the prized vineyard shares a neighboring fence with Oakridge Wines. However, ‘waiting for tomorrow’ is often hard to do, when you have a bottle of Warramunda wine at hand.

From 1975 – 98, Warramunda Station was used as a cattle and sheep stud. The property was purchased in ’98 by the Vogt family, who then turned over the property from a stud farm to vineyard. The first variety planted being Cabernet Sauvignon. This was then followed by Pinot Noir, Marsanne, Viognier, and Shiraz (Syrah).

One of my first tastings at Warramunda included the 2016 Liv Zak Syrah. After having purchased and enjoyed many bottles of this lovely wine, I am excited to review the 2017 vintage.

The model that works so well for Warramunda highlights 2 ranges of wine. The Liv Zak wines are overseen by Olivier (Liv), while the Warramunda Estate wines are the proud offerings of Liv’s farther Robert Magdziarz. With talented and respected Yarra Valley winemaker Ben Haines on board, the wines have an authentic style. They are at once reflective of the Warramunda vineyard, the *Coldstream sub region, and the Yarra Valley region.

The family is passionate about many of the lesser known white French Rhone Valley varietals, in particular Marsanne and Viognier. The award winning Warramunda Estate Viognier is highly regarded by wine lovers and wine critics alike. Further to this, the Syrah (Shiraz), is made in a distinctly cool climate Northern Rhone style. These wines add an extra layer of interest to the cellar door experience at Warramunda.

Both the Liv Zak wines and Warramunda Estate wines are bright and vibrant, due in no small part to the natural acidity of the soil, the cool climate, and the early hand picking of the grapes at exactly the right time of physiological ripeness.

The Liv Zak wines are crafted to be enjoyed immediately upon release. However the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in particular will show well for at least the next 5 – 8 years.

As a wonderful counterpoint, the Estate range is structured to slowly reveal hidden charms over a decade or two. Don’t rush. There’s no hurry.

I look forward to posting a review of the Warramunda Estate range later in the year. I have been lucky enough to taste them, and they are some of the best wines I have tried this year.

Here is a quote from the Warramunda website, eloquently summing up their style and vision.

“Warramunda Estate’s wines appeal equally to the learned wine connoisseur and those new to the art and science of wine. The wines are bursting with personality and drinkability yet will cellar well should you prefer a more mature wine.”

The Wine.

Warramunda Liv Zak Syrah – 2017.

If I could drink wine like this more often – I would be a happy chap indeed. The grapes for this wine were actually sourced from the esteemed wine growing region of Beechworth. The story goes that the quality of the Syrah from the Warramunda vineyards was so exceptional, Rob decided that the grapes needed to be reserved for the Warramunda Estate Syrah.

After searching for great quality fruit to make the 2017 Liv Zak Syrah, Liv eventually found a vineyard in the esteemed Victorian winegrowing region of Beechworth. Finally finding fruit that was worthy of the challenge.

I was a big fan of the 2016 Liv Zak Syrah – purchasing a six pack for my own humble collection.

I was delighted with how the 2017 Liv Zak Syrah presented.

On the nose – showing slightly deeper and riper notes than the 2016 – due to the warmer growing region.

I found a whiff of blueberries and prunes – a very attractive combination. The palate already shows a beautiful integration of perfectly ripened fruit and subtle French oak playing a supporting role. The wine was matured in 500 litre used French oak barrels. These larger format, used barrels help the wine to soften and integrate – without any overt influence of new oak. It works a treat with this wine.

There is a hint of red spice that carry through the palate – with fresh acidity giving length and refreshment – a signature of the Warramunda style.


Already drinking beautifully, why not keep a bottle or two for the glorious future? I dare you to.


 Score out of 100 – As Judged by the Official ‘Perfect Day Tours’ Tasting Panel.

All things considered using our strict criteria, we rated this wine as – ‘Bloody Lovely – with 2 exclamation points’, as seen below.

Bloody Lovely!!

*Coldstream can be considered an unofficial sub region of the Yarra Valley.

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