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2014 Howard Park Flint Rock Margaret River Shiraz

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Cracka Review

A beautiful Great Southern Shiraz, from a great maker, in a great year. So many boxes ticked here that it begs belief, with the sort of long finish to ensure it will live for another decade without even trying.

Winemaker's Notes

The more continental and cooler climes of the Great Southern are favoured for the growing of Flint Rock Shiraz. In the Frankland and Mount Barker sub-regions, where Shiraz reigns, the wines display a great intensity of dark fruits with traces of spice, earth and soft tannins. Each sub-region adds its own complexity, due to the soils, aspects, clones and microclimates unique to the respective sites. Our winemaking team draws upon traditional winemaking methods and the use of fine grain French oak to craft a layered, flavoursome and complex wine.

Vintage: In the Great Southern, the Mount Barker and Frankland sub-regions began the growing season with just adequate soil moisture and scant catchment fill. Predictably, unpredictable spring weather in November did impact flowering, set and early spring growth on exposed sites. Summer was hot but uniformly so with some late on shore drizzle bringing the vintage to a rapid close in early April. With yields below average, the wines produced from the 2014 vintage are full of concentrated fruit flavours, good acidity and fine ripe tannins. The vintage is full of highlights as all varieties performed well in the fine, warm conditions.

Vineyard: The Flint Rock Shiraz is an annual selection from individual vineyard blocks located in Frankland River and Mount Barker. The soils are lateritic gravelly/sandy loams over granite. Yields are low to moderate. Frankland is typical bold and primary in fruit while Mount Barker is finer and more spiced.

Winemaking: Harvest of the 2014 Flint Rock Shiraz occurred in late March. Vinification in small open vat fermenters and gentle cap management facilitates the extraction of fine fruit tannin and strong varietal flavour. Oak maturation is for 15 months in a combination of new and old French barrels.

Tasting Notes: The welcoming ripe fruit notes of plums and dark cherries dusted with the scent of rose petals and red jelly crystals create an anticipatory air. With a little time to unwind, savoury notes of spice, earth and liquorice rise and deftly mingle with the supple fruit, soft tannins and oak’s vanilla and mocha seasonings. Whist warm and rich, the palate’s elegance of structure, subtle complexities, balance and lasting flavour make for a compelling tasting experience. In style, structure and flavour, this wine inclines more to Syrah than Shiraz as it reflects and reveals its cool continental origin.

Food Ideas: Malay chicken curry or seared tuna with kewpie sesame dressing.

Cellaring: Now and over the next 5 years.

Alc/vol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

2014 Howard Park Flint Rock Margaret River Shiraz

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2014 Vintage) says
Selected from vineyard blocks in Frankland River and Mount Barker, open-fermented in small vats, matured for 15 months in new and used French oak. A serious, powerful full-bodied wine that suffers fools badly, and might be confused with Cabernet in a blind tasting thanks to savoury tannins that provide a platform for the blackberry, black cherry and plum fruits, all with a dusting of spice and pepper; French oak also contributes.
Drink by 2034
95
Campbell Mattinson (2014 Vintage) says
It’s hard to argue with this. It offers warm, berried flavour with an overlay of black pepper and assorted cloves and dry spice; it’s not super smooth but it’s supple and soft-enough. It smells ripe and inviting; it doesn’t put a foot wrong through the palate. You can’t really go wrong. A quick double-decant does it wonders too.
2017 - 2024
91
Huon Hooke (2014 Vintage) says
Bright, youthful, deep red/purple hue and a smoky, gently spiced, earthy and savoury kind of aroma and flavour. The palate is backed up by generous firm tannins, adding a serious grip to the aftertaste. It's full-bodied, bigger and more structured than expected at its price-level. Mouth-puckering tannins. It could be cellared to very good effect. It really over-delivers.
2018 - 2037
92
Tony Keys (2014 Vintage) says
The nose is feral, wood and moss slightly dank and so very inviting. On the palate it settles down and richer fruit characters start to appear, very appealing wine.
94

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