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%).”