2018 Little Frances Merlot

A sublime, high-toned Merlot from the Sierra Foothills of California.

Sale price$40.00
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Awesome organic Merlot made by native Sydneysider Erin Pooley, with old vine fruit sourced from the Ponderosa vineyard at Chacewater in the Sierra Foothills, east of San Francisco.

When you think of Californian Merlot you tend to think, "Blockbuster." Not the case here, as this is more akin to a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc with fresh, refreshing acidity, tangy, herbal red fruits, and lengthy moreish finish.

It's remarkable value from this part of the world. You'll almost never seen small-batch Californian wines of this quality at this price.

This wine is richly perfumed with a deep red rose and clove. The gentle tannin structure effortlessly carries generous mulberry and plum fruits. Simultaneously offering friendly approachability and reserved power, this Merlot pairs perfectly with staying safe at home during the cooler months.

Whole berry fermentation with native yeast, 11 months elevage in used French oak, bottled with the use of minimal sulfites.

94 Points - "Whole berry ferment and pressed off to older oak barrels. Sierra Foothills here. Some of my favourite wine country anywhere. From 600 metres above sea level too, on that rugged, hungry soil up there. Somewhere between red flesh plums, beetroot, brambles, brined black olive - perfume. Crisp and chewy with tannin, light on its feet, tense, almost the feel of northern Italian reds, crunchy, sour-cherry kind of thing, dried herbs, sweet earth, briny acidity. So taut and fresh. Magic. (tasted FEB21)" - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

92 Points - <strong>"</strong>Raspberry, fresh blackberry, a bit of a sooty and earthy character, along with flowers and dried herbs. It's medium-bodied, crunchy cranberry acidity thorough blackcurrant, a bit of tomato like sappiness too, but also a pleasing sweep of silty tannin, and a spray of dried herb through the finish. Comes across like a sort of friskier styled Cab Franc really. I like it." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)

Little Frances

Little Frances was established in 2012 by Aussie ex-pat Erin Frances Pooley, who set out to make the wines she loves to drink from Californian grapes.

Enamoured with the nuance and intrigue of aged white wine (and missing Hunter Valley Semillon from home), Erin started Little Frances in 2012 with just 200 cases of Semillon from a high altitude vineyard in Northern California, farmed by the 3rd generation growers.

Her range has grown to include more whites, in the form of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon/Semillon blends and a terrific Merlot that we fell in love with. The wines are made with a soft touch - purity and site expression being the focuses of her approach.

Winemaker Erin Pooley - California, USA Little Frances

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Delivery is free on orders of $150 or more!

For orders under this amount, delivery is calculated at checkout based on your postcode. You can order in any quantity or combination of wines you like. Straight dozens are not required.

We will dispatch your order the same or next business day.

Estimated delivery transit time varies depending on your location. Please review this page for specific estimates.

Sydney (Our Vans): If no one is home and there are no special delivery instructions our driver will try to call for instructions. If the driver believes there is a safe space to leave your wine they will do so if not, they will return the item to us and hold your order until further instruction from you. 

Melbourne (Anonymous Wine Freight): If no one is home and there are no special delivery instructions, the courier will try to call for instructions. If the driver believes there is a safe space to leave your wine they will do so. if not, they will return the item to their dispatch centre and hold until further instruction from you.

Australia Post: Australia Post will leave the parcel if they have been given authority to leave and it is deemed safe to do so. To give your Authority to Leave, please enter this in the 'SPECIAL REQUEST' box at checkout.


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  • Retrospective price-matching is available for 30 days after you have purchased from us.
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