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Frankland Estate


Hunter Smith
29 November 2017 | Hunter Smith

Constant Evolution: Gourmet Traveller Wine


Gourmet Traveller Wine is the Australian Wine Industry's leading journal of analysis and review. In the December/January edition, wine writer Mike Bennie writes about Frankland Estate in his article, 'Constant Evolution'.

Here's the article in full:

"Often my gaze is drawn to the new and shiny when researching Wines To Watch. That being said, it's also great to look at those producers who seem to tirelessly finetune, evolve and improve their established wine styles, elevat­ing an existing offering.

Frankland Estate has been front of mind for their continuing quest to raise their already high bar. Visits to Great Southern and time spent with winemakers Hunter Smith and Brian Kent and viticulturist Elizabeth Smith have cemented my opinion that Frankland Estate is one of Australia's greatest wine producers with a thirst for excellence. That 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.

Not often talked about is the shift to organic farming that started in 2005, leading to certification in 2010. The vineyards have never been healthier or producing higher quality fruit.

The 2016 harvest was challenging but resulting wines reflect judicious work in vineyard and a steady, experienced hand in the winery. The 2016 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling is at its scintillating, tense best. The single-vineyard offering from 2016 is a pure, driven white of citrus and green apple perfume and flavours. It's a long, fine and energetic riesling. There's argument that the wine might not cellar as long as previous releases, a touch of extra juiciness appears here, but you'll be fine for the medium term.

It's always a treat to taste riesling from the Isolation Ridge vineyard alongside Poi­son Hill's single-vineyard expression. 2016 Frankland Estate Poison Hill Riesling, like the Isolation Ridge, shows some extra width and juiciness, but not without delivering the bustling, flint and talc-like mineral characters that are typically found in the wine. It's heady in frangipani floral notes, green apple and exotic citrus character. The palate is set to green melon and white flesh stone-fruit flavours, but they are leaner rather than ripe. It finishes with a pleasing, squeaky-textured pucker.

For an estate-wide expression, 2017 Frankland Estate Riesling offers quality and value hand-in-hand. It's a limey, bright riesling of zingy acidity and crunchy texture. The perfume is voluminous in Thai spice, mixed citrus character and dried apple scents. The palate is bracing with its citrus tang, but finishes with a pool of gently sweet, mouth-filling fruitiness. It's one of those sum­mery whites that is best suited to a deep chill and consumed while your legs are dangling in a swimming pool.

The 2017 Frankland Estate Rocky Gully Riesling is typically seen in super­market retailers rather than on the shelves of independent bottle shops and fine dining restaurants, but it is an utter bargain. It's a wine built around a more loose-knit, juicy pro­file, rather than the inward concentration and sleek lines of the single-vineyard and estate releases. It's pretty with its floral, sweet citrus and lemon barley water scents. On the palate there is lemon barley water with tangy green apple acidity underlying. Such easy drinking.

Frankland Estate is to be revered and celebrated in equal measure. Quietly going about its work, it continues to delight and surprise with these latest releases."

Time Posted: 29/11/2017 at 5:30 PM
Hunter Smith
17 November 2017 | Hunter Smith

Food, wine & a Riesling good time

We look forward to it every year. And it seems many others do to.

In fact, this year we increased the number of diners to 140 and filled every space we have available on our Cellar Door verandah.

The annual 'Flowering of the Vine' event has become a tradition among many and it seems others are starting to hear more about why.

We even managed to do a quick pre-event renovation to expand the space and views from the Cellar Door - a welcome change to accommodate the extra numbers.

In 2017, we started out with a lovely 32 degree, sunny day and four museum SmithCullam Rieslings stretching across 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 plus a sneak preview of the 2017 SmithCullam Riesling.

The food was prepared and curated by North Fremantle restaurant Habitué and Fin's Seafood shucked more than 30 dozen Smokey Bay Oysters to accompany our 2017 Frankland Estate Riesling and 2010 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Riesling.

You can view the full menu below.

To make the day a little more than just incredible food and delicious wine, we had the Shaky Reed Trio entertain the crowd with ragtime, blues and rockabilly music.

And many found it fun to play boules and finska on the lawn and the short, torrential shower did not dampen the day but brought some relief and a cool change.

It was a great day for all and we were sad to farewell so many who had travelled far and wide to be at Frankland Estate.

Next year we will be celebrating our 30 year anniversary so it will definitely be a 'Flowering of the Vine' lunch you won't want to miss.

Flowering of the Vine
11 November 2017
Menu by Habituè

Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Dressing
Fremantle Sardines with Basil Pesto & Yallingup Woodfired Bread
Farmhouse Chorizo with Roast Red Pepper & Potato Crisp

2017 Frankland Estate Riesling & 2010 Isolation Ridge Riesling 

Crispy Shark Bay Prawn Pancake with Coriander, Vietnamese Mint & Bean Sprouts

2015 Frankland Estate Chardonnay

South West Ribeye with Wattle Seed Crust & Bush Tomato Chutney
Burnside Organic Farm Leafy Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and French Dressing
Phil's Sweet Potato with Macadamia Cream, Warrigal Greens, Samphire & Baby Spinach

2008 Olmo's Reward

Cheese Culture Cheese Selection
Affidelice Washed Rind / Ford Farm Cave Aged Cheddar / Colston Bassett Stilton
with Gourmandise Fig Bread

2015 Isolation Ridge Shiraz

Passionfruit Bavarois with Fresh Passion & Riesling Melons


Time Posted: 17/11/2017 at 2:56 PM
Hunter Smith
9 November 2017 | Hunter Smith

Flowering of the Vine

Flowering is one of the most significant growth stages in the vineyard each season and we like to celebrate what we mark as the start of a new vintage, with our annual Flowering of the Vine event.

We'll be celebrating this milestone on the verandah of Frankland Estate this Saturday, 11 November 2017.

There are 140 people joining us this year, one of our biggest Flowering of the Vine events yet!

This long table lunch is the highlight of our spring season and features current release and museum wines paired with a custom-designed menu.

And we are excited to be offering attendees the chance to buy a fresh harvest of Frankland Estate honey from our own beehives. 

We can't wait to share the day with so many of our loyal customers and neighbours.

Be sure to check Facebook for a gallery of images from the day.

Time Posted: 09/11/2017 at 1:28 PM
Hunter Smith
9 November 2017 | Hunter Smith

What's a Riot Without Riesling?

It only happens once every three years and the wait is almost over. The event all riesling lovers dream about is back.

Celebrate your love for riesling with Frankland Estate as we bring the best of the world’s rieslings to Melbourne from Friday to Tuesday, 2 to 6 February 2018, and in Sydney on Wednesday, 7 February 2018.

Here's where you need to be:


2 to 6 February — Pop Up Bar A pop-up Riesling Bar at the Arts Centre

Sunday, 4 February — Riesling Riot The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest riesling party 

Monday and Tuesday, 5 and 6 February — Tastings & Masterclasses


Wednesday, 7 February —  Riesling Riot The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest riesling party 

To be a part of this fun and engaging riesling celebration, secure your tickets online at the Riesling Downunder website –



Time Posted: 09/11/2017 at 7:37 AM
Frankland Estate
14 August 2017 | Frankland Estate

Plaudits from the Pundits

2016 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Riesling 96 pts

“All the hallmarks of this site are at play with camomile and blossom, the lightness of touch on the palate with its citrus notes, some concentration and texture yet the steely freshness and acidity so pure it creates an ultra-fine and long finish.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2016 Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling 96 pts

“Captivating and powerful from the word go starting with its lime and grapefruit flavours, wet rocks before it moves onto a mineral sensation with chalky acidity. Everything balanced with laser-precision accuracy and a joy to behold.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2014 Olmo’s Reward 96 pts

“The finest, most complete Olmo’s Reward to date comprising cabernet franc 58% /cabernet sauvignon 26%/malbec 11%/petit verdot 5%. Red fruits, earth and spice sashay across the medium-bodied frame meeting finely crafted tannins. Pure and long on the finish and seems effortless. Certainly effortless to drink.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2015 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz 95 pts

“This will morph into something rather special – it’s too youthful now but already it has the hallmarks of a finely-tuned, expressive Frankland River shiraz. Heady aromatics of florals, dark fruit, liquorice, pepper and wood spices with chiselled tannins and clearly defined oak. Some creaminess on the palate adds another layer of complexity.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2015 Frankland Estate Shiraz 95 pts

“Bright, full crimson-purple; the variety and the terroir seek to impose each one’s stamp over the other, both failing in their attempt, the perfect win-win outcome. Blackberry fruit, spice and black pepper lead the way on the bouquet and medium-bodied palate alike, French oak (subtle) and tannins (ripe, but fine) completing a great portrait of cool-grown shiraz.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2014 Frankland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 96 pts

“Very good colour; this lines up very much hand in hand with the 14 shiraz, like an exercise in varietal purity and attention to detail in both vineyard and winery. Blackcurrant fruit with notes of dried herbs and a hint of earth is supported by first class cabernet tannins and a measured touch of French oak. Exceptional value.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2015 Frankland Estate Chardonnay 94 pts

“Frankland Estate has been working diligently on its chardonnay particularly in the vineyard and it’s starting to show. Lemon-barley water, citrus zest with some ginger spice and daikon radish crunch to the mouth watering acidity, linear and very refined.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2015 Rocky Gully Shiraz 93 pts

“It’s supple. It’s juicy. It’s savoury. It hits the spot. What’s more, it’s laced with all the flavour and depth expected from this producer. There’s pepper, eucalypt, spice, brightness of fruit, neatly appointed tannins and a fine thread of acidity holding everything in balance. And a bargain to boot.” – James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2018

2015 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Riesling RRP $40

“Another thrilling example of Frankland’s great Riesling from this outstanding vineyard. Crunchy vibrant and so lively. Dances across the tongue with lemon zest and a lift of wet, slaty minerality. Very long and clean in the mouth. Great drinking now but with plenty of cellaring potential.” – 95 points, Best of West Riesling 2017. Ray Jordan, The West Australian Wine Guide 2017

“Frankland Estate have long been one of Australia’s absolute finest organic producers, and it’s no surprise to see them top this list. The Isolation Ridge Riesling is arguably their finest wine, and never in such commading form as in 2015. A landmark wine for Riesling and for organic viticulture.” – Best Organic/Biodynamic Wine of the Year. Different Drop 2017 Wine Awards

“This superb wine has a light straw hue and a mineral, lightly herbal, citrusy aroma which builds as it airs. The taste is soft and open-knit with the citrus, herbal, floral flavours enhanced by subtle sweetness. Seamless acidity with great line and length.” – 95 points. Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct/Nov 2016

2015 Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling RRP $40

“The aroma is shy and retiring, becoming more intense the longer it aired. The palate
is rich and generous, round and full, and the trace of sweetness is balanced by fine acidity and a subtle grip. Excellent.” – 93 points. Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct/Nov 2016

2014 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz RRP $40

“These now mature vines are turning out exceptional fruit from this single vineyard. This is another shiraz that captures the essence of the region. It’s more medium bodied with a mix of gravelly, subtle dusty earth characters complementing the sweet seductive fruit. There’s a subtle ironstone character that emerges. It’s a wine with a distinct vineyard character.” – 96 points. Ray Jordan, The West Australian Wine Guide 2017

“Frankland Estate rightly comes to mind for riesling wines, but their shiraz has always been excellent. This 2014 release reminds us that medium-bodied, red-fruited, spicy, peppery shiraz is excellent under their care. It’s tight and long in flavour, complex, unfurling beautifully in a glass with air time. Super release.” – 93 points. Mike Bennie, Wine Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

2017 Halliday Wine Companion Reviews

2015 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Riesling RRP $40

“Detailed is the single-word essence of Isolation Ridge Riesling, with its citrus and wild flower blossom aromas and its compelling, perfectly balanced, ballarina-light imprint on the mouth. Is its own style.” – 97 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

2015 Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling RRP $40

“There is always (of course) a difference between the Poison Hill and Isolation Ridge, but seldom is it more obvious than this year. This is immediate and naked power, with a cascade of lime and grapefruit flavours rushing through the palate, finish and aftertaste. Ripe, to be sure, but how enjoyable.” – 97 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

2015 SmithCullam Riesling RRP $55

“Has well and truly established itself in the wine community; the finish is a magical blend of flint and fruit, the residual sugar perfectly balanced by titratable acidity; great length.” – 96 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

2013 Frankland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $28

“It’s like watching the perfectly executed pass, the bolt towards the try-line thereafter inevitable. This attacks with blackberry/blackcurrant.dark chocolate flavour and then spreads and runs and swooshes in to a lengthy finish.” – 95 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

2014 Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz RRP $40

“The sheer power of red and black cherry fruit, spice, bramble, earth, tannins, oak and a twinkle of acidity all demand your attention. Paradoxically, no one player captures the loud applause the wine generates.” – 95 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

2013 Frankland Estate Olmo’s Reward RRP $50

“An estate blend, the major part cabernet franc and malbec, with a small portion of cabernet sauvignon. It has a phalanx of predominantly red-berry fruits on its bouquet and elegant, medium-bodied palate; the tannin and oak contribution is minor, albeit necessary.” – 95 points. James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

Run an eye over the latest reviews, these too confirm that something big is happening at Frankland Estate:

“I can’t recall a better Shiraz from this vineyard.” Huon Hooke

“Riesling might feel like their métier, but there’s fire in the belly for red wines under their care.” Mike Bennie

2015 Frankland Estate Poison Hill Riesling RRP $40

Grapes were whole bunch pressed immediately on arrival at the winery, with the juice left to settle in tank overnight before being racked to fermentation vessel. The wine was then fermented in tank at low temperatures (less than 15°C) over 12 weeks with minimal intervention.

“Buckle in for the perfume. Gushing out of the glass with floral scents, rose water, ripe citrus, steel and slate, sweet appley notes. Riotous. Succulent, clean, long in flavour, bristling with fine acidity but undoubtedly yummy with gentle sweetness and that comely, slippery texture. Finishes with a little chalkiness and steely zing. Simply super.” – 95 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

2015 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling RRP $40

Grapes were pressed immediately on arrival at the winery with the juice left to settle in tank overnight before being racked to fermentation vessel. The wine was then fermented in tanks and a small portion in (neutral) oak at low temperatures (less than 15°C) over 8 weeks with minimal intervention. The wine was then left on its lees for six months prior to bottling in October.

“Steel, pot pourri, citrus peel, citrus juice scents and a dash of savoury spice. Glorious acidity feels like a light line of citrussy tang in pools of succulent, appley fruit. Overall, the wine is trim and taut in the palate but feels like it softens and becomes supple through the finish. Amazing texture really, inviting, yet structured. This really drives home the prestige of this wine. 94+ points.” – Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

2013 Frankland Estate Chardonnay RRP $27

“This is very good wine. So stylish and well composed. No excess and no shortages. Light funk of struck match, grapefruit and nectarine, kiss of cedar and spice. Fine and pure in the mouth, clean fruit and savoury flavours, gentle flinty texture and a long clean juicy grapefruit finish. Delicious.” – 93 points. Gary Walsh

2013 Frankland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $28

“Yes. This is a wine to buy and drink. The price is more than reasonable, given the quality. It tastes of blackcurrant, lead pencil, tobacco and dark chocolate, the flavours flowing purposefully through to a fine, intricate finish. Medium-bodied in the best possible way. For now or later; it just works.” – 95 points. Campbell Mattinson

2013 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Shiraz RRP $40

“This is Syrah-like; spicy and medium-bodied, elegant and beautifully poised. I can’t recall a better Shiraz from this vineyard. It’s a modern iteration of Aussie Shiraz, classy and stylish, fine and long on the palate.” – 94 points. Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller WINE

2013 Frankland Estate Olmo’s Reward RRP $50

“Single vineyard blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Frankland Estate reds are in excellent shape; perhaps the best shape I’ve seen them in. This wine is looking the goods too. Grassy, herb and nut-like notes are washed through with cherry-plum and musk. Complex and come-hither at once. Flying.” – 94 points. Campbell Mattinson

Time Posted: 14/08/2017 at 11:40 AM