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*Frankland Estate** is in our opinion the leading producer of the Frankland River region.
Their consistently excellent ‘Olmo’s Reward’ is named in honour of Dr Harold Olmo, who first identified the potential of the Frankland River to grow quality Bordeaux varieties. The blend uses a different combination of the five main Bordeaux varieties each year depending on vintage, with the 2011 being made up of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
It’s a beautifully perfumed, elegant and medium-bodied blend - with the focus on balance, complexity and earthiness rather than sheer power and rich fruit/oak. A premium Bordeaux blend for Bordeaux lovers.
What It Tastes Like
A far cry from many full-bodied, powerhouse Aussie Bordeaux blends, this is all about perfume, balance and structure. The nose is at once spicy, earthy, black-fruited and floral - it really jumps out of the glass. the palate is linear and medium-bodied at most, with Cabernet fruits like cassis and blackcurrant coming to the fore. Firm tannins, refreshing acidity and softly handled oak all play their part. A long, even finish that hints at what’s to come over the years.
94 points. “This estate-grown Bordeaux blend has become a model of consistency for an ever-increasing number of years. Cassis, blackcurrant, olive, spice, redcurrant, savoury tannins and oak all coalesce on the medium-bodied palate and its long finish. The balance is such that it is guaranteed to age with grace.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Background: Olmo’s Reward is named after Dr Harold Olmo the Californian viticulturalist who first identified the potential of the Frankland River region to produce premium wines. Dubbed the “Bordeaux from the Bush” it is a blend of traditional Bordeaux varieties in which cabernet franc and merlot are the dominant components with malbec, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot playing minor supporting roles. Cabernet-franc-merlot dominant blends are popular with producers on the Right Bank in Bordeaux but Frankland Estate is one of the few Australian producers making this style of wine.
Blend: Cabernet Franc (62%), Merlot (17%), Malbec (16%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%).
Colour: Deep crimson red with purple hues.
Aromatics: Lifted cedar and vanilla complement the fragrant aromas of cherry, blueberry and dark stone fruit with earthy undertones.
Palate: Complex, richly concentrated, beautifully textured allowing fruit characters of dark berries, plum and lifted floral notes to come to the fore. The tightly woven palate has fine grained tannins, cocoa and savoury earthy notes. The palate is generous and persistent.
Assessment: A very refined, beautifully balanced and effortlessly elegant wine with the structure and fruit intensity to richly reward further cellaring.
Viticulture: All four varieties used in the blend were dry-grown on mature vines in the Isolation Ridge Vineyard at Frankland Estate. The vineyard sits on an undulating northern and eastern facing slope on ancient duplex soils of gravel and loam over a clay sub-soil. It is farmed using organic viticultural practices and this is reflected in the depth and concentration of fruit flavours. The vines are trained on a Scott Henry Trellis system and trimmed to allow maximum sunlight penetration of the canopy during the growing season. This encourages flavour development and promotes balance in the wine.
Vinification: Each variety was fermented separately as slowly as possible at temperatures not exceeding 30 °C. Open fermentation tanks facilitated working the cap with gentle plunging and pumping over. After fermentation, an extended maceration period allowed maximum colour, flavour and tannin extraction. The component wines were blended on completion of the malolactic fermentation and then aged in French Oak for 18 months. Racking from the barrel allowed minimal filtration before bottling.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 375ml
About the Producer
Frankland Estate are one of the leading producers in the Frankland River region. Family owned and operated since 1988, their major focus on their certified organically grown fruit that reflects its terroir rather than the hand of the winemaker. Their cool climate Rieslings are regarded as some of the best in the region and the country with several single vineyard releases that could be a contender for Australia’s Best Rizza. Frankland Estate is a cutting a mean wave through the industry and picking up a lot of recognition in the process.
Frankland River is rapidly becoming one of WA’s most important wine-producing regions. With a cooler climate than Margaret River, it offers amazing scope for the exploration of varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Shiraz. The wines have an elegance and a finesse to them and at this point are remarkably good value. One of the jewels of the Great Southern area that has a big future ahead of it.
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