Singlefile Wines was co-founded in 2007 by geologists Phil and Viv Snowden, with daughter Pam and son-in-law Patrick Corbett. It followed the Snowdens’ sale of their West Australian consultancy business, Snowden Mining, in 2004, and a protracted search for a vineyard site in WA’s Great Southern region. It was a large canvas, but when they found what was then Scotsdale Valley Estate in the Denmark subregion, they searched no longer.

The face of Singlefile is an idyllic scene of a permanent gaggle of geese who wander down, one after the other, to a small lake/dam at the foot of a secluded vineyard planted to 2.4ha of chardonnay (and now shiraz and merlot). The chardonnay was, and is, of the highest quality but the 500 dozen production was never going to provide sustenance for the quartet. The cellar door built to take advantage of the cameo was, in Patrick’s words, “five hours from the most isolated city in the world”.

So what did they do? The Corbett family moved to the east coast for a year to build brand awareness working with sommeliers, trade partners and consumers. Back home, Singlefile began a network (now 10) of long-term contract growers, and engaged long-term contract winemakers and consultants to ramp up production to 10,000 dozen a year. The winery rating in my Wine Companion started at four stars in 2010, thence five in ’16, where it remains.

How has the family dealt with Covid-19? “Like many, we have feared for our community, our people and our business,” says Patrick. “Thankfully we have had great understanding. Of course we have also discovered Zoom! We joined many customers in their own homes for fun virtual tastings, something we plan to continue to do. We even did a virtual Singlefile dinner for 80 people in a Hong Kong restaurant last week.”

2021 Singlefile Great Southern Riesling

Fresh and lively; a delicious array of lime, lemon and passionfruit open proceedings on the palate and bouquet; steely acidity runs throughout, but does so to provide the structure and balance for the long haul. 11.9% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2031, $25

2020 Singlefile Family Reserve Single Vineyard Denmark Chardonnay

Hand-picked from the estate vineyard planted ’89. Whole-bunch pressed to French oak (40% new, 60% 1yo), 10% mlf, matured for 8 months. Filled with peach, fig and almond flavours; only just entering maturity, and still needing more time to build on its long finish. 13.4% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2029, $60

2020 Singlefile Single Vineyard Frankland River Shiraz

Bright colour. A tightly framed array of blackberry, dark chocolate flavours and savoury ripe tannins that are all in harmonious balance and length. This conjunction of variety and region is a 100% winner. 14.5% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2040, $39

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