A cordon cut style, this wine hails from boutique producer Flaxman Wines. It’s shot through with authenticity, at least as far as the back label is concerned: hand pruned, hand picked, old vine, dry grown, low yielding. It’s a veritable checklist of cred. What I like most about the packaging, however, is the exceptionally attractive label design, something it shares with all the Flaxman wines.
To what’s in the glass, an initially funky, almost musty, aroma gives way to unexpectedly savoury notes mixed with tinned peach and pear. The savouriness is, I suspect, somewhat sulfur-driven, so may blow off with some time. I hope it does, because the fruit here is quite lovely, and surprisingly subtle for what can tend to be a straightforward style. The key to its interest is that it’s not overwhelmingly sweet, it holds something in reserve, which makes the whole thing a lot more sniffable.
The palate shows good freshness and balance, thanks to a pleasing interplay between sugar, fruit intensity and acid. Again, the wine surprises with its subtlety, being neither too sweet nor too bracingly acidic. Entry splashes the palate with cool, structural refreshment, taking a while to build a level of fruit intensity that is ultimately satisfying without ever being especially impressive. The middle palate is awash with a range of fruit flavours: fresh citrus, candied peel, ripe stonefruit, some syrup. The after palate becomes more savoury and textural, with perhaps a hint of minerality edging in. A nice, gentle finish brings things to a close.
The back label also says of this wine that it has “no story.” While its provenance and production suggest otherwise, it loses nothing by being judged purely for what’s in the bottle. Nice wine.