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Ross Hill, one of the premier producers in Orange make one of the best Cabernet Francs in the country. Winemakers Phil and Rochelle Kerney's methodology is “based on old-world techniques executed with modern quality control and precision”. That practice is no better exemplified than in their Cab Franc. This is one of the top 5 in the country for this variety. Fermented with wild yeasts, with 18 months in French barriques, this is pretty serious stuff. It's a wine that speaks of a cool region and sensitive winemaking striving for classic characters. The 2014 is abundant in plush, luscious fruit and will thrill any lovers of elite Bordeaux-esque reds.
What it Tastes Like
"It’s a dry, structural release but there’s sweet fruit here too; it’s an “intellectual” style but it also explains its mission clearly. Grass, herbs, boysenberry, black cherry and a swoosh of creamy oak. Pepper too, perhaps, possibly. Good now and will cellar well over the medium term at the very least." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
92 points. "Machine-harvested, open-fermented, wild yeast, matured in French barriques for 18 months. Vivid crimson-purple hue; cassis, cherry and raspberry drive the bouquet and palate; there are tannins, but maturation in French oak has partially blunted their attack. Interesting wine, with good form from prior years." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 92 points "It’s a dry, structural release but there’s sweet fruit here too; it’s an “intellectual” style but it also explains its mission clearly. Grass, herbs, boysenberry, black cherry and a swoosh of creamy oak. Pepper too, perhaps, possibly. Good now and will cellar well over the medium term at the very least." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
This wine oozes class and poise – less overt than the previous vintage – more a “coiled spring” than an open temptress. Brooding and assured – fruit and oak are integrated, and it needs no time to forge its identity. It does need time to hit its crescendo. The 2014 Franc reaches a new level of “seriousness” for Cabernet Franc in Australia. Plenty of torque that will soften and flourish if given the respect it deserves.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2022
About the Producer
Ross Hill wines is one of the jewels in the crown for Orange. Winemakers Phil and Rochelle Kerney were nominated last year as a finalist for the prestigious Gourmet Wine Traveller Winemaker of the year. They narrowly missed out on the top gong, but the quality of their estate grown cool climate wines are second to none in the area. Their methodology is “based on old-world techniques executed with modern quality control and precision”, and their wines are well worth seeking out.
The wine scene in Orange is alive and kicking. With each vintage that passes the bar of quality is raised again and again. Pinot Noir is a potential champion for the region but for now Shiraz, Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet are the flag bearers. The cool climate and the high altitude vineyards are producing wines of finesse and class and there is some ripping value to be had in this region.
C’Franc, as it is affectionately know, is often one of the more overlooked varieties from the Bordeaux region. Traditionally used as mainly a blending variety, this grape has been experiencing somewhat of a reinvigoration lately as more and more producers recognise its potential to create highly aromatic, crunchy and delectable reds in its own right.
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