Some impressive wines from Frankland Estate, Western Australia

I enjoyed revisiting these wines from Frankland Estate, and the current releases are really impressive. Head 250 km east of the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia, and you’ll hit the remote Frankland River region. With the coast quite a distance south, this is a cool climate wine region. Frankland Estate was established here in 1988 on the Smith family sheep station, and has established a strong reputation for its wines. Summers are warm and dry but the vines are dry grown, with their own Isolation Ridge vineyard organically farmed: there are very few pests and diseases here.

Frankland Estate Poison Hill Riesling 2017 Frankland River, Western Australia
Poison Hill is a 3 hectare vineyard located on a hill where the Heartleaf Bush, poisonous to all but indigenous animals, is found. It has white clay and weathered quartz soils. Whole bunch pressed, settled and cold fermented in tank. 13% alcohol. This is dry, mineralic and intense with lots of flavour. Taut citrus fruit with pretty floral notes, a bit of yellow plum and some nectarine richness. Lovely mouthfeel: this has a really nice linear quality with texture and fine spiciness, leading to a long finish. It’s quite structured but not at all austere, and really pretty. 94/100

Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2017 Frankland River, Western Australia
Vines planted in 1988 on duplex soils of ironstone gravel over a clay sub-soil at 256 m. Most is stainless steel fermented at low temperature, but some is fermented in neutral oak. 12.5% alcohol. Very tight and linear with some grapefruit and lemon fruitiness, and keen acidity. Dry, mineral and intense with bracing acidity. Such a bright, vital wine that should age beautifully once it begins to unfurl. Has real finesse and fine spiciness on the palate. 94/100

Frankland Estate Olmo’s Reward 2015 Frankland River, Western Australia
Named after Dr Harold Olmo, the Californian viticulturist who first identified the viticultural potential of the Frankland River in 1956. Mainly Cabernet Franc with some Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot from theIsolation Ridge Vineyard (duplex soils of gravel and loam over a clay sub-soil). Organic farming. Impeccable balance is the hallmark of this wine, which shows just what the Bordeaux varieties are capable of in this part of Western Australia. It has some sweet fruit – blackcurrant, blackberries and a hint of damson – but it’s not too sweet. The fruit carries itself quite delicately, and is supported by good acidity, a bit of cedary spiciness (although the oak is in the background, not up front) and some delightful chalky, green hints that add interest. Beautiful poise here: a wine made in a classically old world style, but with the generosity of fruit that has a bit of the new world to it. Should age effortlessly over the next couple of decades. 95/100

Frankland Estate Shiraz 2016 Frankland River, Western Australia
14% alcohol. From estate vineyards on ironstone soils. This has perfumed, supple, expressive black cherry and blackberry fruit with lavender, mint and ginger spice notes adding interest. There’s a bit of black pepper, too. Nicely expressive and detailed with a bit of grip on the finish. 91/100

Frankland Estate Chardonnay 2016 Frankland River, Australia
12.5% alcohol. This is textured and nicely weighted with a mineral edge to the toast, pear and peach fruit. It’s mealy and quite rich, but balanced by nice citrussy freshness. Lovely balance here. 92/100

These wines are available in the UK through their agent Berry Bros & Rudd

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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