Few wineries can boast the almost stratospheric rise to greatness that Margaret River's Flowstone can claim.
In just a decade this winery has been in operation, the winery has created somewhat of a ruckus, with their incredibly small-batch, detailed orientated wines winning the hearts and minds of many. Based out of small vineyard in the most southerly region of Karridale, their expression of Chardonnay, in particular, is what has stood out most to us with this 2017 example being one of the best yet from the winery.
Made by Stuart Pym, who can count the likes of Voyager Estate, Devil's Lair and Stella Bella on his CV, this is a beautifully crafted wine. With the addition of 24 months bottle ageing under the boot, the normal charismatic flavours of grapefruit and citrus have started to soften, with a delicate white flower, almond meal, oat and pineapple Tarte Tatin character coming through.
This is an exceptional wine, that is proving a rarity to find anywhere in the flesh in the retail world. With the wines of Flowstone being poured in the first-class cabins of Qantas, and the finest winebars of Western Australia, laying your hands on any of their very small production wines is becoming increasingly more difficult as the years go on.
Complex aromas of stonefruits, roasted hazelnuts, beurre bosc pears, pink grapefruit, and pastries, with hints of honeysuckle. This is a complex expression of southern Margaret River Chardonnay. This wine shows a magical combination of textures and complex flavours, white retaining a lightness. It shows a perfect balance of generous fruit, seamless oak, and a refined chalky acid finish. The flavours apparent on the nose are reflected on the palate. They are generous, but not heavy; full, but not rich. This wine walks the tightrope of beautiful texture, flavour and delicacy. The balance is something to behold. This is a serious Chardonnay of complexity and balance, while retaining an elegantly structured palate.
Flowstone is a tiny little grapegrower and winemaker just south of the Margaret River township, in the beautiful Forest Grove area. Committed to growing grapes and making wines that represent the region and vineyard site, and wines that tell a story, Flowstone is born from a culmination of Stuart Pym's rich winemaking experience and Phil Giglia's passion for great wine. Stuart's winemaking career commenced more than 30 years ago when he moved to Margaret River to help his parents produce their wine label Sussex Vale. His winemaking experience includes some of Margaret River's best loved names including Voyager Estate (1991-2000), Devil's Lair (2000-2008) and Stella Bella (2008-2013).
Stuart also worked at Matilda Bay Brewing Company during the peak of their success in the late '80s and was responsible for several vintages abroad and on Australia's east coast. With his partner Janice, Stuart started Suckfizzle in 1996 and Stella Bella in 1999. In 2013 he handed over the Stella Bella winemaking reins and moved to Flowstone.
Stuart and Phil first met, appropriately, at a Margaret River Great Estates lunch in the late '90s where a joint passion for wine and a firm friendship was born. Ten years later they created Flowstone and the first vines were planted in 2004. While studying at the University of Western Australia, Phil was introduced to the University Wine Club and his love for the drop began. Work at the George Street Cellars in the late 1980s gave him an appreciation for the breadth of world wine and the myriad of styles and stories it contains. It also enabled him to be in close range of the bottles he would never be able to afford! Phil is now a confirmed wine tragic - which is not a bad thing at all.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Like all Flowstone white wines, comes from their Karridale Vineyard. The vinification doesn't change from one year to the next, except for the gestation period from grape to glass here is over 41 months. The flow of fruit flavours is mesmerising, moving through peach and co to grapefruit and co