Reserve Cabernet Franc

 

2018 Reserve Cabernet Franc

2018 was a perfect Margaret River red wine vintage with budburst and flowering not affected by adverse weather, and a warm but not hot consistent summer range of temperatures making the grapes ripen without stress. A very strong Marri blossom in the surrounding forests kept birds at bay and this ensured undamaged fruit in the bins. As of 16 March, the field sample numbers looked a little riper than the Merlot – but tasting the grapes it was seen to be a false flag.  Checking, checking, checking then indicated that the 22nd should capture all that we seek in a top package.  Nets off, and mostly Japanese pickers on the day. Another very good year for reds, 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.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Cabernet Franc:   Picked 22 March 2018

                               Total weight 5,576 kg

                               Baume 13.7

                               pH 3.57

                               TA 5.90

 

The wine was curated by Clive Otto and Ellin Tritt and fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 15 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 22 months. 

 

This wine was made by tasting and retasting every barrel of wine that we had produced from the 2018 vintage and came across a combination of 3 barrels that was simply exemplary.  Will last for decades, a perfect example of this grape in the bordelaise style.

 

Wine Notes and Reviews

 

What flavour and what aromatics this 2018 Reserve Cabernet Franc produced.  This vintage is a true classic and we may not see it’s like for many many years to come. I do not think we have produced better wines overall than in 2018 and this Cabernet Franc may reach the heights of the extraordinary 2014 version that will remain as a beacon for us. A further vote of support from Mike Bennie from WineFront with his review as below:

 

Mike Bennie – April 2020 (The WineFront)

 

“So well knit” is the quicksilver thought that slipped in and then out of my brain. Seamless ride of blue fruit, quiet cedary-clove-cinnamon oak, a lick of green herb, bayleaf and mint, almost chocolatey profile to tannins including a little powdery, 70% cocoa dark chocolate thing to finish. Cool, fine, long, tight-shapely and lithe. A very lovely wine that delivers great drinking and elegance.

 

Rated: 94 Points

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2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc

The selection of this variety only commenced in 2014, and since then it has become an exciting addition to our range, not only because it is a wine of presence and potential longevity, but because it shows what a great wine Cabernet Franc can be when grown in the right location and the right attitude.  2016 was a warm Margaret River red wine vintage with an early budburst with the warmest start to vintage recorded for Blue Poles.  We had average temperatures after spring and until picking apart from a slightly warmer January but little in the way of heat extremes – it was however the wettest summer we have recorded with 136mm of rainfall during December - February.  In early March the grapes were approaching ripeness 1 week in advance of our usual picking dates, but the early start to the vintage meant the grapes were not reduced in flavour or balance.  Another very good year for reds, 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.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Cabernet Franc:   Picked 24 March 2016

                               Total weight 2,892 kg

                               Baume 13.8

                               pH 3.64

                               TA 5.70

 

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 20 months. 

 

This wine was made by tasting and retasting every barrel of wine that we had produced from the 2016 vintage and came across a combination of 4 barrels that was simply exemplary.  Will last for decades and suits spiced lamb rack and smoked brisket as pair of prime examples for an accompaniment to an opened bottle.

 

Wine Notes and Reviews

 

The 2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc is a more complete wine than the 2015 in the sense it has a greater weight and strength of character than the more feminine version from last vintage.  A more “heroic” wine, which implies it has that tannin profile that matches in with the richness of roast beef and/or the creaminess of a strong cheddar cheese.  But, underlying this brashness of tannic youth is a compote of red fruits and that “Franc” note of violets and herbs which sidle in from the top down, making this a really contemplative wine.  A further vote of support from Gary Walsh with his review as below:

 

Gary Walsh – September 2018 (The WineFront)

 

“It’s a hard act to get a straight Cab Franc going, but when it’s good, it’s often very good.

 

Red and blackcurrant, slight prune note, mint, pencils and spice. Medium-bodied, grip and grainy tannin, slightly nippy acidity, attractive perfume of dried herbs on a long insistently tannic finish. Needs a couple of years to settle, I feel, but potential here."

 

Rated: 93+ Points

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2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc

Since 2007 we have selected a Reserve wine from individual varieties at Blue Poles when both the vintage and the variety allows for the wine to be exceptional. As such they represent the best varietal wine that we can produce from our site in the heart of Margaret River.  2015 was a warm Margaret River red wine vintage with an early budburst as spring warmed early, and then followed by a warm dry January and February (but with few heat extremes – steady warmth all the way through). In early March the grapes were approaching ripeness 2 weeks in advance of our usual picking dates, but the early start to the vintage meant the grapes were not reduced in flavour or balance. Two major rain events occurred in the middle of March and we picked the Cabernet Franc immediately after both rain periods before any rain had managed to soak into our dry soil, meaning the grapes came off in exceptional shape. A very good year for reds, 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.  Only 4 Barrels selected for the Reserve.

 

The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Cabernet Franc:   Picked 19 March 2015

                               Total weight 3,190 kg

                               Baume 13.0

                               pH 3.56

                               TA 5.10

 

This was an excellent vintage for our Cabernet Franc in terms of flavour and complexity. 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 13 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 22 months. 

 

This wine was made by tasting and re-tasting every barrel of wine that we had produced from the 2015 vintage and came across a combination of 4 barrels that was simply exemplary.  This is the second Reserve Cabernet Franc wine bottled at Blue Poles and it was a wine that continues the quality of our excellent debut. This is a wine that is both fragrant and lifted on the nose, lacey and floral, leading to a beautifully balanced palate with a graceful structure and gorgeous mouthfeel. A beautiful wine from a solid vintage. When opening a bottle consider a meal with game as supporting the experience – roasted deer or duck would be perfect.

Gary Walsh – August 2017 (The WineFront)

 

“It looks a little light and flighty at first, not in a bad way mind you, but it certainly builds richness and weight as it stands in the glass. Raspberry and boysenberry, biscuit and baking spice, a sniff of sweet herb and grass, perhaps some ground coffee and violet in there too. Medium bodied, vibrant and succulent, bright raspberry pip acidity, spicy earthy oak, gravelly tannin, and a well defined finish of fine length. Linear and refined, the tannin pleasingly assertive on exit. It’s a great thing to drink even now, though should be better again in a few more years."

 

Rated: 94+ Points

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2014 Reserve Cabernet Franc

Gary Walsh – May 2016  www.winefront.com.au

“The more I taste of 2014 Margaret River reds, the more I come away impressed with the vintage: tannin quality is high. New wine here for Blue Poles, obviously confident enough to bottle this fickle grape solo this vintage. I’m no expert, but it seems it’s a tricky variety to get right. Pick too early and you get too much grassiness. Pick too late and it goes pruney and flat, and loses its perfume. Pick it just right and…

This is supple and succulent with the perfume of the grape, and the bay leaf fragrance of the region rolled in to boot. Redcurrant and boysenberry, dried herbs and baking spices, gentle mocha oak folded in beautifully. Medium bodied with a crispness and bright definition to the fruit, though certainly it’s on the riper side of the Franc spectrum. Tannin spreads out nicely, and feels open-weave, and almost biteable, acidity is clean and nicely threaded, and the finish is long and tweaked by slightly tart red fruits. Fair to say they’ve done very well with this wine. Reckon it will improve and settle with a fair number of years cellaring too.”

 

Rated : 95 Points
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $40
Closure : Screwcap

Technical Details

When the vintage allows, we generate Reserve wines of individual varieties at Blue Poles, and as such they represent the best varietal wine that we can produce from our site in the heart of Margaret River.  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.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Cabernet Franc:      Picked 7 April 2014

                                 Total weight 2194 kg

                                  Baume 13.9

                                  pH 3.51

                                  TA 5.40

 

This was an exceptional vintage for our Cabernet Franc in terms of flavour and concentration. 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 12 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 20 months. 

 

This wine was made by tasting and retasting every barrel of wine that we had produced from the 2014 vintage and came across a combination of 3 barrels that was simply exemplary.  This is the first Reserve Cabernet Franc wine bottled at Blue Poles and it was a wine that had to be made. A wine that is both rich and fragrant on the nose, beguiling if not enticing, leading to a beautifully balanced palate that has length to burn. An exceptional wine from an exceptional vintage. When opening a bottle consider a meal with game as supporting the experience – roasted deer or duck would be perfect.

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