Flaxman Eden Valley Shiraz 2008

To the many ways one might measure value for money in wine, I vote for the addition of a “cred” scale. If such a measure existed, this wine would score very highly indeed. For a mere $A25 $A45 (see below), the buyer can enjoy an Eden Valley Shiraz (ding!), made by an utterly boutique producer (ding!) from Estate fruit (ding!) grown on old vines… well, you get the idea. My pocket authenticiometre really does register off the scale here.

None of which guarantees any measure of enjoyment. But it’s a conceptual start, and if one believes wine is, ideally, more than simply what’s in the glass, such things can matter. For instance, it may raise certain expectations of style and even quality: one might look to wines like this for fashionably traditional winemaking, or a clearer view into vintage conditions, and so on.

First impressions are solid; the aroma expresses a thick, ripe plum note that seems half way between the Barossa Valley and the Grampians, in that it combines the lusciousness of the Valley’s styles with a hint of the angularity one sees in cooler climate wines. I do such a classic style a disservice by comparing it to other wines, though; this is Eden Shiraz, if a ripe, relatively forward expression of the style. There are other aroma nuances too – a hint of pepper, some twig and dust.

This fullness of expression carries through to the palate, and here the wine is likely to polarise drinkers. This is a full-throttle wine whose density of flavour alone is impressive. Right from the entry, there’s chewy plum fruit, ripe brambles (the fruit and the wood) and nervous oak. The trade-off for all this flavour is a certain brutality to the flavour profile and in the way it registers on the tongue. It slams rather than floats down, creating a vivid sense of impact but lacking some finesse. Tannins are thick and chewy, contributing to a notably dry after palate and finish.

You could never mistake this wine for the product of large-scale winemaking; it wears its imperfections too flagrantly for that. Something to be thankful for.

Update: price on the sample bottle was wrong. This wine in fact retails for $45.

Flaxman Wines
Price: $A45
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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