New Reviews: The Wine Front

As an editor of The Wine Front, an independent wine review site since 2002, Campbell Mattinson has recently retired from editor of James Halliday’s Australia Wine Companion to spend more time on other projects. He is a barrel full of knowledge and we thank him for his kind words on our wines. Check out Campbell and his next gen writer mates on The Wine


Flowstone Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga 2012

91 / 100 points

“70/30 blend of cabernet sauvignon from Wilyabrup and touriga from Yallingup – both Margaret River sub-regions. All into French oak, 20% new. Only 378 dozen made. It has structure, character and style but mostly it has drinkability. It’s just one of those reds that you can admire, should you choose, but can easily hook into at leisure. The value is there via either route. It tastes of nuts and coffee beans, berried fruit and woodsmoke. It feels textural and supple but there’s no lack of tension, or tannin for that matter. One sip and I was heard to mutter: I like the way you’re thinking. Drink: 2016 + 2023+.”


Flowstone Chardonnay 2013

92+ / 100 points

“From a (single) vineyard at Karridale in the south of the Margaret River region. 320 dozen produced. It’s quite a wine. Intensity of fruit flavour is right up there, but even so there’s nothing come-hither about it. It’s lemony, grapefruit-y and steely, a rub of creamy/spicy/satiny oak much welcome as a taming element. You almost have to brace yourself for the next sip. The show turns dry and pear-like through the back half – before the wine’s steely tangy reasserts control. Length in the context of the overall wine is a given. Harmony is a strong point. As indeed will cellarability be; it’s three years old but looks a third of that age. Drink: 2017 – 2023.”


Flowstone Gewürztraminer 2014

90 / 100 points

“Grown on 35-year-old gewürztraminer vines in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River. Oak-matured and then rested ‘in bottle’ for a further 15 months prior to release. Only 61 dozen made. It’s a heady wine. It throws a huge serve of perfume. It’s like a bag full of pink musk sticks, all rosewater and musk, the suggestion of sweet spice so strong it’s almost overpowering. It’s a viscous wine, the wine equivalent of a slinky, with traces of gravel and bitterness helping to temper the finish. The quality is clear; its drinkability is another matter. Drink: 2016 – 2018.”


Flowstone Queen Of The Earth Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

93+ / 100 points

“Old vine, dry grown, cabernet sauvignon from the famed Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River. 95 cases made. It’s a bigger version of a claret style. It has power and impact but it feels laid back and drinkable. It tastes of blackcurrant and black olives, bay leaves and toasty, malty oak. It doesn’t scream its quality at you but it’s certainly there and in good measure. Tannin exerts its influence without ever threatening to strangle. There’s a whisper of reduction, in a positive sense. It feels juicy and flowing, but concentrated. Drink: 2019 + 2029+.”


Flowstone Queen Of The Earth Chardonnay 2013

96 / 100 points

“Chardonnay from a tiny, tiny vineyard at Forest Grove in the Margaret River region. By tiny, I mean only one tonne of chardonnay grapes from the 2013 vintage, and a release production of just 86 dozen. The 2012 release didn’t do it for me but this 2013 certainly does. It’s a funkified chardonnay but the flow of fruit is stunning. It’s flinty and smoky, bacon-y and matchstick-like, but then an intense run of stonefruit, fennel, sweet pea and grapefruit flavour powers through the palate. It’s succulent, it’s daring, it forces you to form an opinion and yet it is, too, a wine of pure pleasure. Brilliant chardonnay. Drink: 2016 – 2022+.”


Limited stocks left of these wines.