This one’s certainly got me thinking. I was quite partial to Flaxman’s 2007 Stranger, largely because of its luxurious flavour profile and mouthfeel. This, by contrast, is an entirely different beast. For starters, it is made from estate grapes hailing from a dry grown vineyard at the top of the Barossa Ranges (so says the back label). Very Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush, not Emily Brontë). More meaningfully, it is quite distinct, stylistically, from its cheaper sibling.
Quite savoury on the nose, some twiggy, brambly notes sitting alongside dark berries that present in a restrained yet liquorous manner. There’s an element of sous-bois and dirt to the aroma profile, a little unexpected perhaps but also quite interesting. The oak influence, such as it is, consists of a mocha-like note that remains subservient to the fruit aromas. I found it slightly hard going at first, its charms subtle, but its seduction has proved surefooted; an hour in and I’m enjoying the aroma very much.
The palate is equally coy, initially hiding its plush fruit behind a veil of savouriness. On the minus side, there’s a hardness to this wine’s flavour profile that, through an evening’s tasting, never quite disappears. But wow, what impressive length and structure. In a top year, I’m sure this wine would be quite remarkable; as it is, it’s still all quality, and transparent in a way many wine lovers will value and be fascinated by. Fabulously intense berries and coffee on the mid palate, with tannins that are both abundant and velvet smooth as the after palate gathers steam. And again, a satisfyingly extended finish, full of rich fruit flavour and textured tannins. There’s a lot to enjoy here.
A really worthwhile wine.