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The Barossa Valley isn't exactly known for producing light and bright crunchy reds, but it takes innovative producers like Steve Crawford at Frederick Stevenson to push those conventions around. In Steve's words, "this is the wine you just drink - smash against the wall - and walk out." This is Cinsault and Syrah from the biodynamically farmed Ahrens vineyard in the Vine Vale Barossa sub-region, with 15% conventionally but sustainably farmed Grenache from the Hongell vineyard on the Western side of the Barossa. It's bright and perky, a little untamed and loaded with personality. The perfect entry into the world of Frederick Stevenson.
What it Tastes Like
Sour cherry and rhubarb. Lipsmacking stuff - definitley 'a-typical' of the Barossa style. Bright crunchy, nearly ripe strawberry. Soft garden herbs and baking spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon. Pretty cool. Crushed rock and mineral laced tannins to close. Chewy and charismatic.
91 points. "Mostly cinsault and syrah with about 15% grenache to bolster the offering. The cin and syr come from the certified biodynamic vineyard of Wayne Ahrens in Vine Vale, the grenache from Hongell vineyard. It’s a light maceration to get this to bottle, keeping things frisky. Ooh, this is right up the drinkability scale. You get the impression its simple, but there’s spice, barely-there tannin, crisp acidity, a mesh of fruit and savoury character, all brought together in a light-weight wine. The tension in the wine is a big part of the appeal, with acidity and tannin sitting fine, like a shell, around juiciness and sweet-sour (pleasing) fruit character. Crispy-crunchy yum fun times. Antithesis of Barossa whoppers, and best with a chill and beach cricket." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
2016 Dry Red 42.5% Cinsault & 42.5% of a lighter parcel of Shiraz from the Ahrens's Vine Vale property (Cert. BD), with 15% Grenache from the Hongell Vineyard (not practiced nor cert. BD). Light rhubarb, redcurrant cinnamon and vanilla from the Cinsault, melded with darker spiced plums of the Syrah and bolder dark cherries from the Grenache. The "Piñata" is the same smash able, fragrant and luncheon friendly wine as previous releases, but the 2016 brings a slightly chalkier, more angular / mineral to tail off. 2600 bottles produced. Artwork: 'Eeyore Piñata' by Katie Shriner.
Bottle Size: 750ml
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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