Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Wine in the groove at Cibi. Picture: Adriane Strampp

Cibi is rapidly defining itself as one of the most interesting cafes (or should I say happenings) in Melbourne as I have written before. Not only does it serve a terrific Japanese breakfast at weekends, have a quirky shop of Japanese design objects but it also treats itself like a gallery with its regular opening nights.

Then there was the recent pop-up store in the Aesop store in Flinders Lane and now the temporary cellar door with one of Victoria’s most interesting winemakers Mac Forbes, which is running for five days.

It opened on Wednesday and is open from 4pm to 8pm today and from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and is well worth dropping in.

Mac’s wine’s aren’t cheap starting at $28 and going up to $56 but as the winemaker says himself says, the 2010 vintage displays wonderful harmony and definition. The wines themselves span the lower Yarra valley (an area covering Yarra Glen, Healesville, Coldstream) and the upper valley (Yarra Junction, Seville, Woori Yallock, Hoddles Creek and Gembrook) with some grapes coming from Strathbogie.

The wines themselves are handcrafted with minimal intervention. That means literally just dumping bunches of grapes in a large fermenter and allowing it to do its stuff.

It’s the antithesis of the cheap mass market plonk that gives Australian wine a bland reputation abroad. I’d suggest going there to have a small taste of how interesting minimal intervention local wines can be.

I was particularly taken by the newly labelled (I mean24 hours ago they were stuck on) Miss Moss 2008 Strathbogie Ranges Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay. With just 300 bottles, it’s not on the price list but I managed to nab one for $55 and look forward to enjoying it with friends next week.

The opening party rocked with a DJ and food by Cibi, miles from the stuffy old school world of wine.

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