2015 Flowstone Queen of the Earth Chardonnay
Flowstone has set a ridiculously high bar for the quality of their wines, and this Chardonnay is yet another fine release from the hand of Stuart Pym.
Refined flavours are the name of the game here, with gently mealy oak and taut, yet still ripe, grapefruit and melon fruit.
Masterful wine from an absolute star producer.
The 'lucky' 7th vintage, whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French barriques (50% new), 100% mlf, matured for 18 months. The brilliant straw-green hue says there's something special here, for it's incredibly detailed, precise and balanced, the three spears of perfect varietal fruit, high quality oak and acidity all unsheathed, but not required to be thrown. 97 points - James Halliday's Wine Companion
How's it taste?
Margaret River and Chardonnay go hand in hand, but the expressions of this variety across the region are many and varied. The Flowstone Chardonnay is from the southern reaches of the region, and is a more restrained and subtle wine than some of its more northern contemporaries.
How was it made?
These grapes were hand harvested on the 24th of February, and whole fruit pressed to retain texture and delicacy. Fermentation was in French oak barrels, 20% of them new.
Following fermentation, mlf was allowed to start, and run through to completion. The wines stayed in these barrels for a further 11 months, with occassional stirring to suspend the lees. The wine was blended in March of the following year, minimally fined, filtered and bottled, then allowed to relax in bottle for a further 24 months prior to being made available for sale.
This wine was released in September, 2018 and is 100% bottled under screw cap. Total production of 360 cases
Who made it?
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.
Not quite what you’re looking for?
As a wine buyer, the first question people ask me is, ‘What’s your to favourite wine?’ Not a difficult question, right? Well, it’s not always that simple, as it depends on so many different factors such as; the occasion, the weather, or the food I’m eating. So, if you’re having trouble finding the right wine today, never fear, it happens to all of us! And to help make things easier, I have selected some of my personal favourites.