Matt Froude is the winemaker behind the outstanding wines of Municipal – a small but growing wine project based out of the cooler climes of Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria (Yorta Yorta nation and also home of the Taungurung people). Matt’s background sees time spent working as an environmental engineer, a tour guide, working in English schools in Asia, then the wine bug really bit and he headed off to wine university to do some learnin’. Matt did the time at wine school and has done harvests between varying European and Australian wine regions to put more wine skills in his noggin. Now, Strathbogie/Yorta Yorta is home – all that rugged, elevated Great Dividing Range country drew Matt’s gaze – boulders, thickets of gum trees, undulating landscape and the potential of making an array of finer boned, lighter and fresher wine styles. Yes thanks.
In earlier days Matt focussed on tempranillo, shiraz and riesling with some judicious experimentation emerging alongside. This latest suite of wines sees the realisation of that experimentation with extended skin maceration of white grape varieties. These skinsy, chewy, textural wines are unreal. Meanwhile, we had an epiphany with Matt’s duo of whites produced under our favourite yeast layer, flor. An homage to Jura, or just plain clever winemaking, these are truly complex, compelling, fascinating and delicious wines.
Red wines are focussed on drinkability with younger releases vibrant and crunchy, thirst quenching by nature and loaded with regional herb and spice character. Matured wines are supported by Matt, a mark of his patience, They’re judiciously held back to be consumed within optimal drinking windows (now!), with mellow fruit and sweeter spice hallmarks of the releases.
This is an extraordinary set of wines from a winemaker who is deeply patient, intuitive and marching to his own beat. Matt is making what we think are some of Australia’s most exciting wines, and they’ve flown under the radar for the most part…