This wine has achieved a cult status since it was first made in 2014. Originally made as an experiment to see how far we could push ripeness in the vineyard without losing natural acidity that seems to hang on longer now with our organic practices in the vineyard.
Quite unique in the Australian landscape of Riesling, Alter Weg translates to the “old way” describing our approach to this riesling. Organic, ripe balanced riesling fruit is harvested and gently pressed to large format barrel where it undergoes wild yeast fermentation. A further 10 months of aging on full lees in barrel (1000L and 500L) result in a superbly textured riesling with approachability and generosity of fruit supported by the creamy textural element of this vibrant Riesling.
Last vintage picked up the #3 spot in WA Good Food Guide Wine Awards and due to the small production this wines sells out fast every year. Don't miss out!
Wine Club members can log in and purchase a 6 pack at their discount level with free shipping. RRP $37.
Our 2021 Frankland Estate Chardonnay is plush and textural, full of bright stone fruit characters, yellow florals and subtle toasted almond notes. The perfect balance of delicate creaminess and playful acidity of our organically grown chardonnay is mirrored in this fresh, easy to make panzanella salad that utilises summer’s best produce.
4 yellow nectarines
1-2 fresh burrata balls
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of mixed leaves
2 slices crusty day-old bread, ripped into bite sized chunks
1 handful of basil leaves, plus extra for serving
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp verjuice
Salt & pepper
Heat a grill pan or BBQ to medium/high heat. Slice the nectarines into halves, removing the seed. Brush a little olive oil on the grill and the flesh side of the nectarines, then place flesh side down on the grill. Cook just until you see dark char marks, then take them off the grill and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the mixed leaves, tomatoes, bread chunks, onion, basil leaves and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add half the olive oil and verjuice and toss gently.
Arrange the salad over a large platter, then nestle the burrata and grilled nectarines amongst the salad. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and verjuice, some extra basil leaves and a good pinch of salt to finish.
Serve and enjoy with a glass of Frankland Estate Chardonnay.
Grüner Veltliner is the most planted grape variety in Austria but also grown widely in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We just like saying the name!
In 2017, we grafted Grüner Veltliner on part of our Isolation Ridge Vineyard on a leaner, rockier patch at the top of the ridge. Hunter had noted that where it grew best in the world the soils were a little drier and leaner. Grüner likes it a bit mean - otherwise it can crop at quite high levels.
Hunter first fell in love with this grape variety back in 2000, when he did vintage with the famed Austrian producer Salomon Undhof, one of the oldest privately owned wineries in Austria.
On last count Frankland Estate is one of only two wineries in WA growing this variety, and the only one to do so organically, it needs a cool climate to make good wine. Grown elsewhere in Canberra and the Adelaide Hills in Australia, we find it suits our climate and is a good cellar companion for our Rieslings. Traditionally made in a lean austere way but we thought some of the best in the world have a bit more weight and texture (like our Rieslings).
Grüner tastes like if Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio had a baby! Ours is medium bodied, aromas of pear, stone fruit, citrus, white florals and the classic hints of pepper and herb edge of the variety.
This varietal is especially good with Vietnamese food, particularly summer rolls and noodle salads. A crispy Schnitzel is an obvious choice, but you could happily drink Grüner with fish and chips or even fried chicken. Fresh cheeses like goats cheese, young pecorino or mozzarella are also great matches.
It's a style of wine that was all the rage in the wine bars in New York, known as "Groovy" by the trendy crowd. There's not a lot of Grüner Veltliner planted in Australia, but where this native Austrian white varietal is small in numbers, it's big in flavour impact! This is the second release of our organic Grüner Veltliner and it's one that you'll need to act on quickly as we are down to the last stocks of this small-batch wine.
"The Riesling experts at Frankland Estate’s take on Grüner but in very limited quantities (one barrel, in this case). A hedonistic version as a result of barrel fermentation: charcuterie and cruciferous vegetable notes with herbs, citrus, blossom and graphite. Quietly mind-blowing."
Dom Sweeney, Gourmet Traveller WINE February 2022
Much like the rest of the world in 2021-22, this year’s growing season has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. Coming out of one of the wettest winters in many years, we continued to receive plenty of rain through ‘til the end of October, which is ideal for giving the best start to our new plantings and the early growth of established vines. The wet weather was also welcomed with open arms by our dry grown vines in the original Isolation Ridge Vineyard.
This cool, wet start to the season has meant bud burst and initial vine growth have been slow, delaying flowering by two weeks. We are only now heading into veraison at the beginning of February and almost all varietals still have hard green berries, indicating we are still some six weeks until the start of harvest.
Since November conditions have been very dry, and December and January have been very warm. The average temperature this January was a fraction over 19°C, one of the warmest since 2016. Despite this, the yields look good and to date, the quality looks very exciting. We are starting to see the night time temperatures of around 10-12°C and the days are cooling, which gives our vines the ability to slowly develop the bunches, which imparts the quintessential flavour spectrums and intensity we expect from our certified organic vineyards.
Despite its challenges, we are very excited to see how vintage takes shape over the coming months.
Our 470 clone Syrah (above) is just starting to change colour (veraison) whilst the Riesling (below) is looking great but yet to change.
Over the last decade our family has been deeply focused on improving our Shiraz wines. This is an incremental process, the culmination of nearly 14 years being certified organic and new clonal material in our cool climate vineyard. We’ve implemented larger format oak (including foudre) in the winery, minimising the oak influence and not masking the great fruit we grow. Greater parcel selection, small open pot fermenters and winemaking techniques including whole bunch ferments all help to build complexity, while retaining the freshness and vibrancy that our region is known for. Decades of knowledge poured into making a wine that reflects the Isolation Ridge vineyard’s unique identity, and a wine that honours our site.
The Great Australian Shiraz Challenge is now in its 27th year and in this specialist event our 2018 Shiraz was pitted against some of the best wines that SA, VIC and NSW have to offer. Frankland Estate Shiraz 2018 (with a brilliant score of 96 points) stood proudly, shoulder to shoulder with bottles of big Barossa Shiraz that sell for 10 times the price of our Estate Range. We are thrilled to have been awarded two trophies this year - Best WA Shiraz and Best Organic Shiraz! This highlights not only the quality, dbut the value of our Estate Range wines. On top of these awards our 2019 SmithCullam Syrah was awarded Gold with a score of 95 points.
It seems all that hard work has paid off, with our Shiraz wines now being considered amongst the best in the country. Confirmation of which we have received by the benchmark of wine critics - James Halliday - with a score of 95 points.
As always, these awards arrive as stocks are dwindling at the winery, meaning this great value red will not be around for long. Snap up a case before it disappears, you can trust it will cellar well for another 4-6 years.
Read some recent praise for the 2018 Estate Shiraz below:
Peter Bourne, Gourmet Traveller WINE
"The team at Frankland Estate are really on a roll... 2018 was a great vintage for Shiraz with Smith Cullam Syrah, Isolation Ridge Vineyard Syrah and the Estate Shiraz all shining. It's a beautiful wine - silky, succulent and pure - showcasing the pristine fruit that these guys grow in a remote, pollution-free corner of the Great Southern region. And it happens to be a bargain, too.”
James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au
"Retains its good colour; the bouquet and palate alike have started to develop the complex spicy, savoury forest floor characters that are the mark of topflight pinot noir. The length of the palate is of itself a measure of the quality of this wine, and the great vintage promises even more down the track. 95pts
Floral and spice lift from the glass alluding to a shiraz of elegance and depth. The nose leads to a shiraz with middle weight and delicacy on the palate yet with substantial depth of flavour and complexity. Spice and ironstone earthiness sit well along the bright fruits of plum and redcurrant that give the wine a juiciness and approachability whilst having great length and freshness. The complexity of this wine no doubt comes from the three clones of shiraz now grown in the estate vineyards and the seven small parcels used for this shiraz (making up 93.4% of the wine), supported by the use of small additions of Touriga Nacional (3.7%), Mourvèdre (1.3%), Marsanne (1.2%) and Malbec (0.4%).”
We are thrilled to see two of our wines featured in The West Australian Wine Guide 2022 by Ray Jordan... out-bloody-standing!
Isolation Ridge Riesling 2020 95 points
"This was a very low-yieding year after the dry-growing season, but the resulting wines have tremendous power and intesity, while retaining that essential crisp, fresh acidity to sustain and bring life to the palate and finish. The striking feature is the length on the palate. Retrospective tastings of these wines have caused me to extend the cellaring time."
Isolation Ridge Syrah 2019 97 points
"This turned out to be a stunning vintage in Frankland, and here is ample proof of how good it was, Gorgeous aromas of perfumed satsuma plums and spices on the nose. There's even a hint of dusty limestone. Then the palate delivers with profound and powerful rich fruit, presented with finesse and elegance. This is a classically defined syrah with a cool-climate structure but a warm-climate power if you get my drift. Out-bloody-standing."
Spring is well and truly upon us and with the ability to host friends and family, there is no better time to enjoy three Spring classics. The second release of Grüner Veltliner compliments the now well established Frankland Estate Riesling 2021, both wines oozing with freshness and brightness. Together with our cellared 2017 Poison Hill Riesling, this pack is bound to satisfy the most discerning Spring wine consumer.
Frankland Estate Riesling 2021
This wine was made from 100% Riesling grown in the family’s estate vineyards. The vineyard is farmed according to certified organic principles, this is reflected in the clarity and complexity of the pristine fruit from the vineyard. A selection of small ferments was made from parcels of fruit harvested from some younger vines planted in 2006 on a high rocky ridge, in the ironstone “coffee rock” that is classic soil type from the property at Frankland Estate. This combines with some of Frankland Estate’s original parcels of Riesling planted in 1988.
Aaron Brasher, The Real Review 90 points
Grüner Veltliner 2021
It's a style of wine that was all the rage in the wine bars in New York, known as "Groovy" by the trendy crowd. There's not a lot of Grüner Veltliner planted in Australia, whilst this native Austrian white varietal is small in numbers, it's big in flavour impact! This is the second release of our organic 2021 Frankland Estate Grüner Veltliner and it's one that you'll need to act on quickly if you want to enjoy as there was only a barrel produced.
James Halliday, 95 Points [2020 vintage]
Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling 2017
We cannot say this any better than James Halliday …
"Imbued with distinctive minerally personality of this estate's Rieslings, and chock-full of classic varietal expression. The aromas and flavours have an overarching citrus theme, grapefruit, lime juice, the flowers of a Meyer lemon, the zest of a ripe mandarin. Tight and textured, the tingly acidity holds the line along the palate and drives through the finish." James Halliday, 96 Points
All certified organic with character and charm, we have put together the ultimate Spring pack with three each of the above wines (or mix your own pack).
Buy now for $34.50 per bottle, delivered straight to your door.
Use code SPRING and order before 12 November 2021 to save $23.00.
Normally $230.00, our October offer includes 10% off with free freight (valued at $25/case).
Join our Wine Club and save more!
Wine Club Members
Wine Club members receive their 15-25% off their respective membership discounts when purchasing our Spring Six Pack.
“When it comes to riesling, we have worked hard in the vineyard to create an environment that nurtures the creation of wines with minerality, nerve and drive. As the vineyard gets older and our understanding and management of it improves, we have found the intensity and natural acidity gets better with each year.” - Hunter Smith
Isolation Ridge Vineyard was named in 1988, after our friend Guy Grant visited the region and the newly planted vineyard, to help us to establish both a vineyard and winery name. After a few bottles of riesling over lunch, Guy jokingly suggested we call our vineyard site ‘Isolation Ridge’ due to the extreme remoteness of the site. Promptly adopted, we had no idea it would so aptly transmit the unique and humble approach we have taken to our viticultural and winemaking philosophy…
The vineyard is managed organically (certified in 2009), however the attention to detail goes further than just managing this way. The family live on the property and are in the vineyard every day. The viticultural techniques that we employ are constantly evolving in response to our observations of the behaviour of those vines. We know what we know from years spent looking after them and understanding their response to weather like rain, sun, thunderstorms, long hot summer days and cool night-time temperatures. These little adjustments might involve completing manual jobs on the right day as needed, as opposed to a set day of the week. In this way we are able to continue refining the things that make the soil healthier, the vines more resilient and at the end of the day, the wines more vibrant.
“It’s the little things… like noticing hot days can fatigue a vine, just like they do us, and asking ‘what can we do to give the vine additional energy to thrive?’ The cool breeze that rolls in over the landscape on a warm summer’s day brings relief to both the vineyard and vineyard worker equally - to share these moments with the vine is what makes a truly great viticulturalist.” - Hunter Smith
Vine resilience is central to the ongoing success of the vineyard. Frankland River has relatively low annual rainfall, so the vines are forced to drive their roots deep into the loamy, iron stone gravels in their pursuit of hydration. The absorbent clay bedrock swells with water during the winter months and allows the vines to access that water source during the months where surface hydration may be less frequent. This deep rooting means weather events on the surface have less impact on the vines, reducing the stress on the vines during the all-important growing season.
The notion of a great vineyard site (like great wine) is not the things that can be said about it, but rather those things that cannot be easily put into words. The way the breeze blows, the way it smells, what it feels like to walk the rows every day for 33 years… literally thousands of days. The memories of storms, sunsets and sunrises. All the while learning, observing and spending countless hours thinking about how best to enable and encourage the site to truly express itself in the bottle.
Isolation Ridge Vineyard embodies the philosophies we carry so strongly. Striving to let a vineyard site speak for itself through the wines it makes is what motivates us and hopefully moves those that drink the wines.
The results we believe speak for themselves.
“Frankland Estate is one of Australia's greatest wine producers with a thirst for excellence. The wine offering is underpinned by the pioneering work and vision of founders Judi Cullam and Barrie Smith only enhances the potency of Frankland Estate's wines.
The focus on riesling is, of course, at the forefront of any conversation about Frankland Estate. Established vineyards and considered single-site offerings have contributed to Frankland Estate's fame. They continue to craft wines that not only reflect their unique patches of Great Southern, but show that Australia produces wines to match the best of any riesling-producing nation”. Mike Bennie Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine
“We have no desire, through our wines, to lose a sense of place or an understanding of where we are. This is not an ‘international’ style of wine, this is a wine that speaks very much of a specific place in the south west of Western Australia. The place is Frankland River. The vineyard is Isolation Ridge. Olmo’s Reward doesn’t come from anywhere else; it is intrinsically Frankland River and it expresses the beauty of where we are.” – Hunter Smith
Olmo’s Reward is the ultimate expression of the red varieties planted in the Isolation Ridge Vineyard and through the lens of the excellent, slightly cooler 2017 vintage the wine has achieved new levels of sophistication and poise. It speaks of elegance, power and authenticity to the vineyard site, which reached its organic certification in 2010.
All four varieties were picked and fermented separately in order for them to retain as much as possible their individuality. The wine was blended 6 months after fermentation (in open pot fermenters) and returned for a further 12 months to 500Litre French oak for maturation as a completed blend. The wine is then bottled and matured in the cellar prior to release.
Olmo's Reward is only made in the best vintages and is sources from a total of roughly two hectares within the certified organice Isolation Ridge Vineyard.
“The success of the wines made from the Isolation Ridge vineyard is rooted in the dirt, the aspect, the organic management and the fact that the right varieties were planted in the right spot. Frankland River is wild and dramatically vast and beautiful in its rugged Australian-ness that is red gravelly dirt, wide open blue skies, and gum trees. The vineyard produces wines that speak of minerality and fresh vibrant fruit: this is articulated with brilliant clarity both in the Isolation Ridge riesling and here in the Olmo’s Reward. The varietal composition will differ slightly each vintage depending on the vintage conditions; however, this wine will always come from this vineyard. The cabernet franc that makes up the lion’s share of the blend provides a bright purple edge both to the nose and colour, and a fresh crunch to this elegant wine: all of the gaps are filled in every possible corner with performances from malbec, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Cassis, violets and brambly raspberry is bolstered by liquorice, clove, and black pepper – the tannins are super fine and chorale the fruit across the palate, through into the finish. The acidity is bright and lifts all of the dense fruit flavours, providing a perfect foil of freshness to the darkness. Silky, fine and almost succulent, the sunshine of Frankland River is evidenced by the perfectly ripe fruit, the cold nights exist in the natural acid and energy of this wine. Glorious stuff.” Erin Larkin
The History of Olmo’s Reward
Dr. Harold Olmo (July 31, 1909 – June 30, 2006) was a pioneering viticulturist and professor at the University of California. Dubbed the “Indiana Jones” of viticulture for his pioneering work, Olmo was widely regarded as one of the most influential viticulturalists of the 20 century.
In 1955, Harold Olmo (Professor of Viticulture at the University of California) spent eight months in Western Australia studying climatic limitations of viticulture in the Swan Valley, at the invitation of the Western Australian Vine Fruits Research Trust. When he published his findings in a report “A survey of the grape industry of Western Australia” in 1956, one of the recommendations put forward was that the Frankland [River] area of Western Australia showed great promise for making table wines in the light traditional European style.
The mention in Olmo’s publication was modest, but nonetheless it was the first mention that we know of, that acknowledged the suitability of the Frankland River region for grape growing. This early recognition coupled with Olmo’s tireless energy and contribution to viticulture globally, was the reason we named this wine Olmo’s Reward.
Olmo’s Reward, Today
When Judi Cullam and Barrie Smith established Frankland Estate in 1988, they set out to highlight the nuance, allure and strength of a varietally blended wine, in a market that was at the time and remains today dominated by single varietal labelled wines. Fast forward to 2020 (32 years later), and Judi and Barrie are still involved in the blending process each year, however their son Hunter and daughter Elizabeth together with Elizabeth’s winemaking husband Brian continue to evolve the Olmo’s Reward story each year that they have the fruit to do so.
The evolution of this wine is driven primarily by learning more about the vineyard site over time; how it performs as the seasons wash over it and the vines gain age, and also by witnessing the evolution of the prior vintages as they age in the cellar. Every year a small hand bottling of each of the components (straight cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot) are reserved, so that in the future, 10 and 20+ year old wines can be revisited. This has provided us with great clarity with regards to how the wines evolve and change over time, and it affords us unblemished vision of the blending of the current Olmo’s Reward. From what we now know of the vineyard and what it is capable of producing, we accept that age-worthiness is a given. The cabernet franc vines are now 30 years old and are providing a welcome balance of elegance and benign power that typifies this wine. This is the reason why cabernet franc now dominates the varietal makeup of this blend - it is assembled with small influences from malbec, cabernet sauvignon and merlot (the merlot comes from new clones planted 5 years ago). These provide the complex and nuanced backdrop for the cabernet franc: the Olmo’s Reward stamp of uniqueness.
Get a taste of this special wine for yourself
96pts Huon Hooke
96pts GOLD James Halliday
96pts Decanter World Wine Awards.