9th July 2015
Stuart Pym at Flowstone wines has a stated aim of releasing his wines with a degree of bottle age to improve the drinkability and accessibility of the wines on release. He also has an aim of limiting production to only 1200 cases per year. This has presented him with the enviable challenge of trying to allocate stock, but still retain enough to supply restaurants who want to maintain a consistent wine list.
For the 2015 vintage, a dedicated winery opened adjacent to Flowstone’s vineyards in Forrest Grove. This will give Stuart even greater control over the winemaking process. These are carefully crafted wines, of high standard, so the future looks very promising indeed.
I tasted the wines with Stuart, therefore no scores are given. The quality of the wines was, however, excellent, and my picks are below.
Flowstone – Sauvignon Blanc – 2013. This has a really complex nose showing gooseberry, flint, struck match and lees work. The palate is rich and textured, with quality lemony fruit. Almost chewy, the finish is long and fine, with linear acidity and a touch of minerality. The oak is mainly for texture (fermented in one new 600l barrel with 47mm staves, the rest old). Good drinking. (RRP $32).
Flowstone – Chardonnay – 2012. Complex and rich, with struck match, minerality and barrel ferment notes. That said, there is a core of ripe fruit characters. This spends 12 months in high-quality French oak barrels, of which 20% are new. The wine goes though 100% malo-lactic fermentation which adds richness, yet the wine retains life. Excellent current drinking, but will age for a few years if that is your preference. (RRP $36).
Flowstone – Cabernet Sauvignon/Touriga – 2011. A 70%/30% blend. Initially, this is closed and tight on both the nose and the palate. The quality fruit is evident, but it needs years to evolve. Shows mint and eucalypt from the Cabernet, whilst the Touriga adds weight and depth to the finish. Tannins and oak keep fruit in check, but do not dominate. (2 years in oak, 20% new). Very long, this ideally needs 5 – 10yrs to start hitting its straps. (RRP $36).
Flowstone – Cabernet Sauvignon – Queen of the Earth – 2011. Lovely, classic Margaret River nose, with gentle eucalypt and mint over blackcurrant fruit. Continues on the palate, with dense fruit and fine, savoury tannins. Subtle oak to close adds depth (3 years in new oak). A lovely wine with great length and mouth-feel (RRP $75 – 99 Dozen made).