Flaxman Shiraz 2007 (Eden Valley, SA)
$45, Screwcap, 14.5%
‘Dry grown fruit from 55+yr old vines, yielding 600kg/acre (Wow!) to the acre. Matured in 50% new French oak for 24 months. Open top fermentation, pigeage, minimal pumping and extended time on lees. No filtering or fining.’
When I read a winemaking description like that I get excited. Excited because every element of that ‘recipe’ sends out a message of quality without regard to cost. Quality and absolute raw passion (pigeage!). And any wine made with real passion I am interested in. Hence I’m excited to taste this, and can only wish that more wines come with such a story. (Do you make wines like this? Send them my way…)
From the now plainly very poor 2007 vintage, this is the sort of wine that would be a superstar in the right vintage (such as 04) and is only hampered by the rough deal that the plainly nasty 07 harvest has dealt it.
The wine itself has a violet tinge to the ruby red juice, and looks particularly youthful indeed. On the nose it’s quite meaty and nutty, with bretty beef and mushroom overtones, backed by proper boysenberry and bitumen Eden Valley Shiraz fruit.
It’s perhaps a little warm and forward fruit-wise on the palate, however the length of this wine is world class, Henschke-ish even in the way it seems to get richer and fuller through the middle and back end, finishing with mouth grating back palate tannins – I really dig that sort of uncompromising length – The rest of the wine is a little touched by the heat and mixed ripening of the 07 SA vintage, yet definitively fresher and much more composed than most I’ve tried so far, showing nothing unripe or overtly porty.
This Flaxman Shiraz then is a perfect example of how fastidious winemaking and top shelf old vine material can combine to produce something good in the face of a plainly shit vintage. 17.6/92