Blackberries, blackcurrants, earth, chocolate and cigar box. It’s full-bodied with round, fine tannins. Creamy, balanced and polished on the palate with a supple finish. From organically grown grapes.
Drink or hold. Screw cap.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (November 2021)
About this WINE
Frankland Estate was established by Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam in 1988. It is located in the Frankland River district, a cool climate region about 200km inland from the South West Coast of Western Australia. The Isolation Ridge vineyard was developed on part of a 3000 acre property in the Frankland River region on which the family has run a wool growing enterprise since 1974.
The vineyard follows organic production techniques, being one of the most isolated regions of viticulture in Western Australia with typical seasons of long dry summers and cold wet winters, disease pressure is very low. The vines are dry farmed, which enables the regional expression and variation due to seasons to be outwardly expressed in the wine, making them individual to Frankland Estate. Furthermore low yields enable the flavours of the grapes to develop fully.
The accolades are telling: James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2011 rated Frankland Estate as a 5-star winery and in top 3% of Australian wine producers, with four of its wines being rated 95 points and higher and three wines being listed in the “best of the best” by variety.
Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam remain closely involved in every aspect of the vineyard and winery operations. They share ultimate responsibility for winemaking as well as for the company's overall management and direction.
The Frankland River wine district, a cool-climate region about 200km inland from the South West Coast of Western Australia. The wines from Frankland are considered some of the best in Australia, not least because of the pristine grape-growing conditions unique to the area.
This marvellous environment is particularly conducive to producing top-quality Shiraz (or Syrah), some of which are touted as rivals to the great wines of the Rhône in France, while the unusual, cool climate allows for elegant, crisp white wines – often a rarity in such a hot continent.
Recommended Producers: Frankland Estate, Larry Cherubino.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.