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Frankland Estate Rocky Gully Shiraz 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • JH93
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 vintage was noted by having a mild dry summer right through to harvest in mid April. The small addition of Viognier with vibrant Shiraz fruit notes gives aromatic lift and subtle texture which makes the wine more approachable in its youth. Good acidity and fine tannins combine to create a soft finishing, elegant, cool climate style.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 93
Australian Wine Companion
Light to medium crimson-purple; there is a lift to the fragrance of the bouquet and the juicy flavors of the palate invested by the small but significant contribution of Viognier; its light- to medium-bodied palate has excellent balance, and the wine will be at its best over the next three or so years.
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Frankland Estate

Frankland Estate

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Frankland Estate, Australia
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Frankland Estate was established in 1988 by Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam who continue to be actively involved in every aspect of the vineyard and winery. They are now assisted by their daughter Elizabeth Smith, son Hunter Smith and a small, hard­work­ing team who enjoy the diverse and idiosyncratic challenges associated with work­ing in a fam­ily business. The winemaking philosophies at Frankland Estate reflect these influences as well as the hard-earned lessons gained from some 17 vintages in the Frankland River region. Our approach to winemaking is based on the principle that the most significant characteristics of a wine come from the soil and the vineyard environment. We aim to make wines that reflect nature rather than the hand of the winemaker. This is the basis of our commitment to sustainable farming and to working the land in accord with the cycles of nature. We carefully nurture the health of the soils in our vineyard and only take from our vineyards as much as can be replaced by natural processes. Our use of viticultural practices resulted in us gaining organic certification in 2009 with our 2010 vintage wines being released with the certified organic “bud” logo.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

QUIRGSH117_2011 Item# 126335