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Allouran

2015 Allouran

The sky is a thick purple when storms approach from the east, it makes you tremble knowing the potential vine damage it brings in those roiling clouds.  In October 2014, this was the case for two days as hail and storms lashed inland WA and let me watch from the vineyard but fortunately to not partake.  A wine is never made on the lazy autumn days in which the grapes are harvested, a wine is made in spring and summer – every nuance of wind, rain, and shine plays a critical role in getting that eventual wine balanced and rich, and most of all delicious.

In the case of the 2015 vintage we started with a cool but relatively dry October to December – even growth and even temperatures meant we set a small but well spread crop and vine health was perfect.  No mildew pressures or hungry insects were distracting the vines in these critical months of flowering and fruit set.  Summer months of January and February were warm and dry – almost totally dry – and the heat was pre-set avoiding any days over 36°C.

By March the grapes were in great shape, checking early in the month showed how they had evenly ripened and all look set for a stroll through picking.  But the weather had other plans and major downpours occurred on the 16th and 20th March – with our picking dates for the grapes being 17th for the Merlot and 19th for the Cabernet Franc avoiding the issues caused by the rain.  The Merlot was exceptional, glorious and concentrated, and the Cabernet Franc was fragrant and lifted with the finest of tannins.

The fruit was severely thinned prior to veraison, and handpicked early on each morning.  Any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

Sold out.

Reviews:

Gary Walsh, www.thewinefront.com.au   

“Blackcurrant, plum, menthol, perfume and lift, perhaps some stewed fruit, spicy biscuity oak. Medium bodied, deep plummy fruit, tobacco, plump tannin, juicy acidity, and fine pencil tannin and earthy flavours on the finish, perhaps some raspberry. Texture and drinkability is a highlight here.” 

93 points.

 

Philip White (Drinkster) – July 2018

"Blue Poles Margaret River Allouran 2015 is Merlot with about 30% Cabernet franc, from the adjacent one-hectare block. The Franc gives that deep vegetal Merlot even more confectionary dressing: while still very complex and deep, it has alluring and capricious whiffs of crytallised violets and marshmallow sugar.

 

These are reluctant, like the best bits of the baby Merlot above, but they make the wine seem a little more casual, which is misleading. While the palate's more lissom and spritely - this puppy's at least half whippet - and the tannins take longer to park, all this merely reminds me of the sorts of Coonawarra one could sometimes find when they picked before the jam or the frost hit: think Merrill's old Chateau Reynella Coonawarra blends after the Bordeaux style, without nearly so much green tea tannin and tomato leaf.

 

Perhaps not looking at such longevity, this is the modern Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, dancing, giggling like Harlequin in circles round the more reserved Merlot. More drinking, less thinking, especially with that port salut. Which is not to say it's rosé, or even clairette. But to to me it fits the old claret template. Ten years? Probably. It'll be as cute and dribbly as those puppies in two. If Jackson Pollock had a case of each of these wines he woulda stayed home painting poles instead of perishing with Edith when he rolled his Olds whilst tanked on rye."

 

Technical Details

Merlot:

Picked 17 March 2015

Total weight 6,324 kg

Baume 13.2

pH 3.35

TA 5.80

 

Cabernet Franc:

Picked 19 March 2015

Total weight 3,190 kg

Baume 13.0

pH 3.56

TA 5.10

The wine was curated by Clive Otto and Kate Morgan and fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 14 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 22 months. 

The 2015 Allouran is a blend of 74% Merlot / 26% Cabernet Franc.  It combines the richness and concentration of the exceptional Merlot with the structure and fragrancy of the Cabernet Franc – making one of the most famous Bordeaux blends and giving up a wine of exceptional balance and length.  It is the wine that represents Blue Poles and all that we stand for – it is the reason for the season one could say!

This 2015 Allouran is a beautiful wine – the balance of the palate and the synergy of the grapes makes for a seamless and complex wine.  Built to age, but with the finest of tannins so as to make it even approachable in its youth, this wine will gain further weight with age or upon opening.

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2014 Allouran

Our Allouran is the heart and soul of our vineyard as it represents the core belief that when you combine location, soil, climate, passion and history you can achieve special wines.  The wine is a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Franc – a classic Bordeaux blend from the “Left Bank” where these two varieties dominate.  2014 was a classic Margaret River red wine vintage with a cold and wet start to spring conditions, leading into a dry and eventually hot early summer.  The conditions in summer were warm and dry with February / March having limited very hot days ensuring that the grapes were perfectly ripe and concentrated in flavour due to the longer season.  A great year for reds and whites, giving opportunity for solid flavour retention and tannin concentration.

The fruit was severely thinned prior to veraison, and handpicked early one morning.  Any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.

This was an excellent vintage for our both varieties in terms of flavour and complexity. The two varieties were curated by Clive Otto and Kate Morgan and fermented in closed vats and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 12 days for both wines.  They were individually pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 20 months.

This wine was made by tasting and re-tasting every barrel of wine that we had produced from the 2014 vintage, selecting out the Reserves and doing that in synch with the combined tasting of the barrels forming the Allouran.  If any barrel’s departure affected the quality of the Allouran blend it was placed back into the blend – quality is everything with this wine.  The final ratio of Merlot to Cabernet Franc was 67% to 33%, a classic ratio from the St Emilion region. This wine that is both fragrant and plush on the nose, framed by supporting delicious oak, has a beautifully balanced complete palate with a magical structure and long length.  A wonderful wine to drink and savour from an excellent vintage. When opening a bottle consider a meal with red meats or game fowl – seared duck breast with a berry sauce and this wine is wonderful combination.

Sold out.

Reviews

Gary Walsh, www.thewinefront.com.au   

“Plum, dried cranberry, and raspberry, baking spices and Ginger Nut biscuits, polished wood, subtle floral and herbal perfume. Medium bodied, with a delightful churn of thick ripe tannin, depth and brightness to the fruit, clean acidity, a pleasing precision married to richness, black olive savouries and exotic spice: the Merlot and Cabernet Franc weave a lovely tapestry here. Finish is long, almost crisp, with a slurry of tannin to bring it home. Top shelf.” 

94+ points.

 

Technical Details

Merlot:

Picked 24 March 2014

Total weight 3,120 kg

Baume 13.7

pH 3.39

TA 5.80

 

Cabernet Franc:

Picked 7 April 2014

Total weight 2,194 kg

Baume 13.9

pH 3.51

TA 5.40

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2011 Allouran

Why so late for this wine’s release?  Because, this Allouran needed more rest and settling into its own skin than any other wine we have made here at Blue Poles.  But the result speaks for itself and highlights the pedigree of this wine over the years and the faith we had in planting these two iconic grape varieties in Merlot and Cabernet Franc so as to make this one wine.  Perhaps the largest, densest, richest wine from the Allouran line.  It does however keep what makes Blue Poles distinctive and it shows just how well a Merlot blend made with attention and craft can be.

2011 was a warm vintage, with the Merlot vines were under a bit of stress for most of the summer (as was the whole of Margaret River), but the Cabernet Franc in total ease almost uncaring about the season evolving around it.  We picked the Merlot off in two “tranches” on 18 and 22 March with the both lots having the same new oak and old oak regime as each other.  On 31 March the Cabernet Franc was hand-picked, and though it was a smaller crop it was intense – really intense and the resultant ferment made the winery smell like a blackcurrant juice press.  The first year in which I thought a reserve Cabernet Franc was possible, but the reduced tonnage and the blending trials showed I had no choice – I had to make this blend with every drop of that Cabernet Franc and taking into account the exceptionally strong Merlot, it created our biggest most complex version of Allouran to date.

The resulting wine is quite simply excellent.  I can’t say much more – it speaks for itself.  To any doubters of Merlot’s capacity to make great wine outside of the best of Europe, I say have a glass of this.  It has a density and complexity to match many Bordelaise wines and it hasn’t been dumbed down to meet a “caricature” expectation of what a Merlot wine should be.  It would have made the late Jeremy Pringle chuckle, and I always think of him when I drink a glass of this wine.  So no list of aromas and tastes this year, just a simple statement that this wine is very good and it will provide you with more pleasure than you thought possible.

Here’s the summary from Gary Walsh from WineFront – we are not ones to forward wines to many critics as we don’t produce enough to warrant the expense, so the ones we do send to we respect and use their collective knowledge in understanding and developing our wine further.

Price: $Sold Out per bottle

 

Reviews

Gary Walsh, www.thewinefront.com.au   

“This is a very strong release in both the quality sense, and a physical sense. Certainly it’s one of the more robust offerings from Blue Poles, and perhaps none the worse for that either. Plum, chocolate, aniseed, redcurrant, violets, baking spices and menthol – a fair riot of richness and perfume here. Medium to full bodied, lovely sweet uptake of mainly small red berry and plum fruit, tobacco and chocolaty oak, and these delightfully firm open knit gravelly tannins laying down the bass. Acidity is spot on, and drives a path through the succulent fruit. Finish is savoury, redcurrant laced, long and dusted with chalky tannin. Right proper wine.” 95 points.

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2010 Allouran

The 2010 “Allouran” is a deep crimson red with a lifted nose of deep red fruits with chocolate and an exotic hint of a cedar oak that forms a tobacco frame.  The palate is full and balanced with great fruit flavours and the stamp of Blue Poles fine tannins, giving in to a long delicious length.  A wine that has the potential to age at least 6-15 years, but you can be assured of the wine drinking well now.

If drunk with food (which is certainly recommended as there are few greater pleasures), we recommend all our Allouran wines with rich beef and game dishes, as well as duck confit which marries the weight of the wine with the texture of the meat.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Price: $28 per bottle

 

Reviews

Mike Bennie, www.thewinefront.com.au   

It actually popped out of a blind line-up for its succulence and general drinkability.  Merlot at 70% and Cabernet Franc at 30%, the pop of light garrigue and dried Italian herbs of Cabernet Franc a nice dose in the darker merlot fruit character, or so it seems.  Long across the palate, slender but chewy tannins coupled to a dustiness of texture.  Just-so medium bodied, a dash of fruit sweetness, bright acidity and those tannis rolling along. It’s a great release and I suspect will cellar a spell too.” 94 points.

Jeremy Pringle, http://www.winewilleatitself.com   

“Australia’s best Merlot Cabernet Franc has never looked better.  It’s 70%/30% for those interested in the numbers.  It you aren’t already all over this wine then you should be.

More elegant and vibrant than previous releases; although it’s never been a clumsy, plodding wine.  It smells and tastes of brown grass and plums with a subtle seam of red cherry woven through the palate.  Hints of olive and leaf.  Restrained spice.  The whole package is framed by some of the best chocolate cedar oak you’ll find yet it never overwhelms the fruit. Depth and clarity with tightly knit tannin on an extensive and ever so slightly nutty finish.  I’m tasting it in my boxers and a singlet and I still feel sophisticated.” 95 points.

Philip White, DRINKSTER   

“Merlot (70%) and Cabernet franc (30%) add up to just about my favourite idea of a red wine of elegance and tease. Like more tease than poke. The absence of the jerky Cabernet sauvignon is essential. Instead we have the creamy mossiness and white fungus soil aromas that I expect of proper Merlot, with the acute electric blue smells of the Cabernet franc. It prickles my nostrils, then smoothes them with the most beautifully-perfumed cosmetic cream. Its texture is creamy, too, until that gently cheeky velvet tannin rises up to dry everything off and leave you screaming for real veal, as in the best saltimbocca. It is a delicious, rare, slender drink.  But is not mellow. Stack some away. This very generous price can’t possibly hold. If you insist on buying 2010s, the Allouran is AU$4,300 cheaper than Petrus.” 94+++ points.

 

Technical Details

2010 was a year that was nearly perfect – good start to the season with a wet and miserable September giving way to a perfect warm October that gave the vineyard a huge spurt of growth. November dodged the flowering bullet with dry and not too windy weather with a moderate heat load, ensuring a good set of fruit. December was steady and dry, and January was warm, with the only set back being one day of extreme weather that caused a 25% loss of the Cabernet Franc tonnage. As we moved through February and March the weather was warm and consistent and the fruit coming off in late March and early April excellent condition.

The fruit was as always severely thinned prior to harvest, usually just prior to veraison (the changing of colour in the grapes). All fruit were hand-picked and tonnage was lower on both varieties, with quite a large reduction in our Cabernet Franc vintage due to the heat damage in January. The technical data on these grapes are as below:

Merlot:                      Picked 23 March 2010

                                  Total weight 7,009 kg

                                  Baume 13.4

                                  pH 3.36

                                  TA 6.90

 

Cabernet Franc:       Picked 9 April 2010

                                  Total weight 1,894 kg

                                  Baume 11.9

                                  pH 5.30

                                  TA 5.68

The wine was fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 11 days each. The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 20 months. The final blend of grapes for this wine was 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc – a classic St Emilion wine style of the Bordeaux region of France.

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2008 Allouran

The 2008 “Allouran” is a deep red black with a lifted nose of deep red fruits with chocolate and an exotic hint of a fine Cuban cigar.  The palate is full and balanced with great fruit flavours and the stamp of Blue Poles fine tannins, giving in to a long delicious length.  A wine that has the potential to age at least 6-15 years, but you can be assured of the wine drinking well now.

If drunk with food (which is certainly recommended as there are few greater pleasures), we recommend rich beef and game dishes, as well as duck confit which marries the weight of the wine with the texture of the meat.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Price: $Sold Out per bottle

 

Reviews

Campbell Mattinson, www.thewinefront.com.au   

“This Allouran is a very alluring wine. You have to go for a bit of acidity, mind. It fairly trills with mouth-watering acid. But such effect entirely suits the wine. It tastes of dusted chocolate and pencils, ripe plums and dried-out hay. Beautiful overall effect. Gorgeous squeeze of tannin through the finish. Length to burn. Walks to the beat of its own drum – successfully.

Rated : 94 Points
Tasted : Jun11
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap

Drink : 2013 – 2020

 

Technical Details

2008 brought back a sense of normality after the terribly cold and sturdy 2006, and the incredibly warm and rich 2007, with a vintage that required a long dry finish to vintage to bring out the best of the fruit’s flavours and the finest of ripe tannins. A truly classic year with all the fruit having the most intense depth of character, which went through to the finished wine.

The fruit was as always severely thinned prior to harvest, usually just prior to veraison (the changing of colour in the grapes). All fruit were hand-picked and tonnage was lower on both varieties, with quite a large reduction in our Cabernet Franc vintage.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

Merlot:                      Picked 29 March 2008

                                  Total weight 7,509 kg

                                  Baume 13.7

                                  pH 3.43

                                  TA 4.90

 

Cabernet Franc:       Picked 15 April 2008

                                  Total weight 1,419 kg

                                  Baume 13.9

                                  pH 3.60

                                  TA 5.68

The wine was fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 10 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 19 months.  The final blend of grapes for this wine was 79% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Franc – a classic St Emilion wine style of the Bordeaux region of France.

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2007 Allouran

The 2007 “Allouran” is a deep red black with a lifted nose of plums, chocolate, blackcurrant and an exotic hint of a fine Cuban cigar.  The palate is rich and fully integrated with great fruit flavours and the finest of tannins, giving in to a long delicious length.  A wine that has the potential to age at least 5-12 years, but you can be assured of the wine drinking well now.

If drunk with food (which is certainly recommended as there are few greater pleasures), we recommend rich beef and game dishes, as well as duck confit which marries the weight of the wine with the texture of the meat.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Price: $Museum Stock Only per bottle

 

Reviews

Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

“This was tasted back in January for The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 and my notes have a score of 93-94. Mattinson chose the lower number for publication, although curiously I had their 07 Reserve Merlot (not in the book) a couple of points lower than his whopping 94 point rating.

Delightful – sweet grassy Franc married to rich plummy Merlot with good nutty oak in support. Rich but controlled with3 some savoury flavours and a general red fruitedness, firm tannin, freshness and excellent length. Subtle mocha oak on exit. It all flows along merrily merrily – like a dream. Brilliant price for a wine of this quality.”

 

Testimonials

Whilst inspired by the Old World – specifically, the right bank of Bordeaux – the 07 Allouran represents the potential for great quality Merlot / Cabernet Franc blends in Margaret River; aromatics of blackcurrant leaf, ash and dark cherries allure the drinker to a palate of juicy red plums, framed by graphite like tannins. More plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Franc please…

Tom Hogan – Head Sommelier, The Lakehouse

Rated : 94 Points
Tasted : Jan09
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap

Drink : 2012 – 2020

The Wine Front

 

Technical Details

2007 was a red wine vintage that may go down as one of the region’s best, perfect warm spring conditions led into a mild but still warm summer that meant the grapes were perfectly ripe and full of flavour the earliest in our short vineyards history.  All of the vines had little to no disease pressure and were not damaged by birds that miraculously left the vines alone due to the proliferation of blossom from the surrounding Marri trees.  A wonderful year to be a vigneron!

The fruit was severely thinned prior to harvest, and just prior to the first and only time we have used a mechanical harvester, any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

Merlot:                      Picked 15 March 2007

                                  Total weight 7509 kg

                                  Brix 24.8

                                  pH 3.22

                                  TA 5.60

Cabernet Franc:       Picked 24 March 2007

                                  Total weight 3127 kg

                                  Brix 24.8

                                  pH 3.51

                                  TA 4.60

We were fortunate enough to have Sharna Kowalczuk from Vasse River Wines make our wine and she completed an exemplary job with our grapes from arrival through to bottling.  The wine was fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 10 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 19 months.  The final blend of grapes for this wine was 66% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc – a classic St Emilion wine style of the Bordeaux region of France.

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2006 Allouran

Description

The 2006 “Allouran” is a deep dark plum red with a lifted nose of plums, chocolate, sweet grilled red capsicum and an exotic hint of allspice.  The palate is fully integrated with great fruit flavours and the finest of tannins, giving in to a long delicious length.  A wine that has the potential to age at least 4-9 years, but you can be assured of the wine drinking well now.

 

If drunk with food (which is certainly recommended as there are few greater pleasures), we recommend rich beef and game dishes, Osso Bucco with either Beef or Venison is a particularly fine match with this wine.

 

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Reviews

 

Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

I had a quiet dinner with one of the owners of this vineyard last week and in a curious twist we were served by a Polish waitress with a slight grey blue tinge to her complexion. I can also report that the 2007 vintage of this wine is an absolute snorter.

Clean, fresh and fragrant with raspberry, plum, chocolate, baking spices and a touch of gum leaf and pepper. Then medium bodied, suave and composed with crisp acid (not intrusive) and flavours of small red berries, blackcurrant and eucalypt. There’s fine grained but firm tannin with the merest hint of green and a good clean finish.  It’s light but fair with a Euro-sensibility and a natural affinity for the dinner table. Something of a triumph considering the vintage too.

 

Rated : 91 Points
Tasted : Nov08
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap

Drink : 2009 - 2014

The Wine Front

Technical Details

A wine that is made on the back of many hours of work and dedication is one that will always be remembered, and this level of commitment is shown in our 2006 'Allouran'.  The season was a difficult one for the Margaret River region with a cold start to the season, with temperatures from October to December being some of the coldest ever recorded in Margaret River.  With such a cool start to the year a lot of work was required in the vineyard to keep the vines in the best possible shape and to ensure the fruit would ripen fully.  This was achieved and the grapes were picked very late in the season in dry conditions.

 

The fruit was severely thinned prior to harvest, and during hand harvesting any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these hand picked grapes are as below:

 

Merlot:                        Picked 15 April 2006

                                    Total weight 3122 kg

                                    Brix 23.9

                                    pH 3.32

                                    TA 5.99

 

Cabernet Franc:         Picked 25 April 2006

                                    Total weight 2422 kg

                                    Brix 23.7

                                    pH 3.46

                                    TA 5.00

 

We were fortunate enough to have Sharna Kowalczuk from Vasse River Wines make our wine and she completed an exemplarily job with our grapes from arrival through to bottling.  The wine was fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 10 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 17 months.

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