Varietally labeled Cabernet Franc is a rarity in Australia, but this is a fine example, boasting black cherry and cassis fruit with restrained herbal shadings. It’s slightly austere and structured, a refreshing alternative among the Clare Valley firmament.
What’s nice about this wine is that its cooler-climate origins are clear. Aromas are of cherry and gumtree, and the palate unfolds with crisp black-cherry flavors. Its mouthfeel is very dry, but put it away for a few years and the issue will likely resolve. Imported by Click Wine Group.
Though it spends three years in oak, it doesn’t scream “wood” at all. There’s dark black plum and berry fruit on the palate, but the dominating note here is one of deep, moist clay soil. That lovely clay shows on the nose, too, where there’s also some licorice. A very good example of Clare Cab, with nice texture.
Plummy and cedary upfront, this is a somewhat blocky, extracted Cabernet Sauvignon that currently doesn’t show much subtlety or finesse. What it does have is bold cassis fruit, plenty of intensity and a sturdy character that would pair nicely with grilled steak.
This is a perfectly fine example of Clare Valley Cabernet, one that emphasizes refinement and elegance over sheer power and intensity. Cassis, tobacco and a hint of vanilla account for the bulk of the aromatic and flavor interest, and it turns mouthwatering on the finish. Should hold well through 2015.