Flaxman Drone Blend 2009

I never know what to expect when I open a Barossa Valley Rhône-ish blend. Stylistically, producers seem to try everything, from the richest of rich wines through to lighter, more claret-like interpretations, a category to which this wine belongs.

On pouring, it’s immediately apparent there’s no great density of colour here, and this is the first clue as to the style on offer. The second comes quickly on the nose, where instead of the wall of fruity goodness one might anticipate, there is instead an angular, prickly aroma profile that teases rather than leaps from the glass. The second interesting feature of this wine now presents: the Mataro component is very prominent. There’s some typically sweet, confectionary Grenache fruit, but dominating this note is a meaty, savoury, frankly challenging set of Mataro aromas that are really fascinating and moreish.

The palate confirms this wine’s light attitude as well as its curious savouriness. Entry is quite striking, with an edge of acid leading to a flash of sweet fruit before the meat takes over and carries this wine through to an elegant, supple middle palate. I like the way the two constituent grapes appear to fight against each other as this winds its way down the line, sweet and savoury intertwining and constantly threatening to pull apart but never seeming to go that far. A lift of well-judged oak supports the after palate and ushers in a dry, slightly resinous finish.

Be careful how you match this with food. Its distinctiveness will be lost with something too robust (like my burger dinner). A subtle, sloppy ragu would be perfect, I reckon.

Flaxman Wines
Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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