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Steve Crawford is doing things right under his own label. Focusing on small parcels of high quality (and in this case, organically and biodynamically farmed) fruit, treating it with care. All releases loaded with intrigue. Clearly part of the vanguard of the Barossa.
The 2015 Vine Vale ‘Tony’ Mataro is a refreshing take on the variety. A single old puncheon of fruit, destemmed, the stalks re-introduced later in the ferment to better infuse tannin and structure into the wine. 40-year-old vine fruit which feels youthful. It’s great stuff.
Mataro is a beautiful variety when handled in this way. A fascinating wine sure to raise a few eyebrows at your next dinner party.
What It Tastes Like
Blueberries, mulberries, some faint herbal scents that act like accents not scene stealers. Bouncy fragrance to it. It has a rustic feel to it, the suede tannins coming in waves. Some lip-smacking acidity adding freshness. Very charismatic wine. Nicely done.
93 points. “I like that Steve Crawford, the solo artist winemaker behind Frederick Stevenson, didn’t opt for most accessible, affordable fruit in his pursuits, but went for biodynamic (certified) for his wares. He sources parcels from the Vine Vale vineyard of Wayne Ahrens. Great fruit there, it seems. No additions in winemaking, gentle handling to bottle.
That perfume sets you alight. It’s so, so vibrant. Kirsch, cassis, lavender, cinnamon/clove spice. Spice is a theme in the palate, almost tactile in spiky pepper, clove character over the equal parts firm and squeaky texture of dark, broody, black currant, black cherry sweet fruit underlying. It’s long, fresh-feeling, rippling with succulent tannins. It has that brightness and freshness that aids drinking. Nicely, nicely done.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
2015 Mourvedre from the Ahrens’s Biodynamic vineyard in Vine Vale once more….
40 year old vines - Brambled and glazed fruits, tight tannins and fine acidity.
1200 Bottles produced
Artwork by Will Brown
On the nose- Mulberries, Dried fruits, alpine herbs, glazed peel and anise dominate the nose. Fresh, medium weighted wine w Mulberries & dried fruits with red currant / fresh acid pulling the wine through to a long, subtly spiced finish. Tight tannins are melded together w juicy mouthfeel coming from the mulberry based pallet. Stalks are added back for that tannin tightness at the end that pulls the fruit together. Old puncheon. Almost a year in oak on full solids.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until:
About the Producer
The Frederick Stevenson project was started as a covert operation, an underground label from Steve Crawford who has a day job at a much bigger, fancy winery. The Vine Vale was his first experiment.
The Barossa has a big reputation. Big in every sense of the word. Known for producing blockbusting examples of impenetrable old vine Shiraz and Grenache envied by much of the world, it is a region that should be celebrated as the region that first put Australian wine on the map. Now, with a new generation of winemakers reinventing the region, there’s more than just power in the Barossa’s bag of tricks. With a move toward picking earlier and pulling back on oak maturation, there’s a fresher, more subtle side to Barossa wine which offers plenty to the modern Australian wine lover.
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