Frederick Stevenson is the wine label created in 2011 by Barossa-based winemaker Steve Crawford. He has quickly gained a name for himself as a ‘Young Gun of Wine’, with his focus on wines that move away from the ‘big Barossa shiraz’ of old. Steve had first planned on becoming a chef, yet decided that working outside and travelling would be his preference. After studying viticulture, he worked in vineyards across South Australia, before heading to Germany and working in the Rheinhessen region, which grows a diverse array of grapes such as riesling, Müller-Thurgau, dornfelder and silvaner. It was here that Steve learnt a more ‘intuitive’ way of winemaking, as opposed to the clinical way in which it is often taught. Whilst working in the Rhône Valley, Steve became captivated by cinsault, marsanne and rousanne, varieties he uses to varying degrees in three of his current wines. His first vintages were made in his garage, from montepulciano, and his practices are still a counterpoint to the “industrial scale” of Australian winemaking.
As Steve purchases his fruit from other growers, and he is not averse to swimming against the current, he is free to make pretty much whatever wine he likes. Therefore it’s not a surprise to see his Dry Red, a blend of predominantly cinsault, with decreasing amounts of shiraz, grenache and mourvèdre; or the Syrah & Friends, a blend of syrah/shiraz that was fermented with the skins of marsanne and rousanne grapes. The fruit is sourced from organic and biodynamic vineyards scattered over South Australia, such as the Barossa, Eden and Clare Valleys, and the Adelaide Hills. Each bottle is adorned with artwork created by young, emerging artists based in Adelaide, so while it’s difficult to identify Steve’s wines purely by the label, it also means that they’re as distinctive as the wines inside them.
Peruse the Frederick Stevenson website here.