2017 Wilyabrup Valley Cabernet Franc Merlot

Cabernet Franc


Woodlands have produced this Cabernet Franc Merlot blend since 2008. Cabernet Franc is often disobedient in our Cabernet Sauvignon blends, tending to thin out the palate. However, when blended with Merlot, the variety really comes into its own. Each year we produce around 20 barrels of this blend, sourced entirely from the Wilyabrup Valley.

2017 presented some unusual weather patterns throughout the region. With very wet conditions leading into winter, and Spring being bitterly cold. Our summer was a very mild one this year, with La Nina conditions keeping the temperatures low and avoiding any extremes of heat. This resulted in a longer flowering and growing period across the region, around 2-3 weeks later than normal. This was more in line with the historical phenology of the region. We experienced some heavy rains mid-February through to March; however our non- irrigated vines were able to flourish and with our timely and fastidious vineyard practices, we were able to produce fruit of exceptional quality despite what nature presented us with.

Like all red wines at Woodlands, this wine was destemmed and sorted by our gravity fed system. Once harvested and in the winery, the fruit was gently destemmed, then passed over a vibrating sorting table, before making its way to small stainless-steel fermenters. Following fermentation this wine was matured in French oak barrels for 14 months.

Our 2017 Cabernet Franc Merlot is a blend of 51% Cabernet Franc and 49% Merlot. This wine is bright crimson in colour. The nose leaps out at you with vibrant, lively enthusiasm - the primary fruit characters of raspberry and blackcurrant combining with orange zest, lightly roasted coffee, and spice. The subtle spice aromas carry through to the palate, where they combine with an array of ripe red berry fruits. The wine is rich and medium in weight, with some classic Cabernet Franc stalky tannins adding tension.

While it appears to be an easy drinking red, do not be fooled! This wine has some intelligence and depth, and will be best enjoyed from 2018 to 2022.

Enjoy with goats cheese, thyme and leek frittata, or a porcini mushroom risotto.