Congratulations to Frankland Estate! The team’s 2019 Isolation Ridge Riesling has been named 2020 Wine of the Year by the West Australian Good Food Guide.
WA grows a lot of wonderful wine, so it’s tremendous praise for Hunter and Elizabeth Smith, Lizzie’s winemaker husband Brian Kent – plus of course Judi Cullam, Barrie Smith and the whole team at Frankland Estate – to win this accolade for their outstanding wine.
The estate, founded in Frankland River in the Great Southern in 1988, has been certified organic since 2009. It played a central role in the genesis of CellarHand, was the founder of what went on to become Riesling Downunder and has always stayed true to a set of high principles and laudable values. Judi’s Gourmet Traveller WINE Len Evans Leadership Award a couple of years back attests to this, as do the delicious and moving wines we get to enjoy all the time.
West Australian Good Food Guide 2020 Wine of the Year
A cut above all the others in 2020, though only by degrees in a field of outstanding wines. It’s a wine that is not only excellent in every sense of fine wine paradigms, including balance, persistence, detail, but is downright delicious and offers wild drinkability.West Australian Good Food Guide Awards 2020
It’s a piercing, powerful, laser-like expression of white wine with a buffer of fantastic chalky-mineral character. There’s a cavalcade of citrus, just ripe green apple and light floral things in the mix too. Blisteringly fresh across the palate, thirst-slaking and yet complex, the wine is glorious at every sip. Cellar with impunity, too.
This exudes such pristine life from the glass with elegant, floral notes and fresh lime juice, sliced yellow grapefruit, green apples and powdery bath salts. The palate has a sleekly defined and attractively pithy core of lime-juice flavours with an exceptionally long finish that holds such juicy, pristine citrus-fruit flavours. So long. From organically grown grapes. Drink over the next decade or more. Screw cap.97 points. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
Other white wines
A beautifully intense yet ethereal nose to this exemplary Riesling with limes, lemon pith, lime leaves and hints of green mangoes. The palate has a seamless build of smooth-honed fruit that follows the same, citrus and stone-fruit thread as seen on the nose. Just superb in every way. Drink or hold. Screw cap.94 points. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
Always a pillowy, bumptious Chardonnay hewn of a gentle chord of tension, usurped by the sheer generosity of stone fruit, toasted hazelnut and creamy nougat-cashew core. There is nothing fat about this, but the softer seams avail an earlier drinking window than most. All the better for it.92 points. Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Organically certified, this address has loosened up a conventional strut of austerity, to a swagger of confidence, textural detail and poise. This new stance is embellished with optimally ripe fruit evincing care, love for the land and authority. From white clay, this is a rich and spicy riesling, reminiscent of great Germanic expressions over the sour Aussie norm. A forcefield of palate-staining intensity. Vinous. Extracted righteously. Honest to place and what that brings, be the alcohol a bit higher. This is juicy, powerful and complex. Compelling length. Quince, lemon oil, apricot pith and tonic.97 points. Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
The wine is still unbelievably young. Bright straw-green, beautifully poised and balanced on ballet shoes of acidity, the lemon/lemon curd flavours of the wine providing top-class hedonistic pleasure.96 points. James Halliday, Halliday Magazine
With striking clarity and purity, this is the sort of Riesling you can get lost in, merely by breathing in the aromas of fresh sliced limes, white peaches and grapefruit, as well as nuances of white flowers, gun flint and spice. The palate has a similarly complete and composed style, leading you along with pristine lime, apple, white-peach and fresh-pear flavours. Long and effortless, this is all so pleasurable. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.96 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
More of this, please! Hard to spit. Far from prosaic and yet a conflation of regional scrub and menthol scents, gorgeous florals and a jubey, bouncy palate exuding dark cherry, tobacco leaf, anise and bitter chocolate notes. Lip-smacking and dangerous. Juicy acidity driving it all long. Scored on sumptuousness.95 points. Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Loads of charm to the bouquet, cinnamon and mixed red berries, raspberry coulis and toasty, cedary oak. It’s silken and beautifully balanced – ripe fruit allowed to sing without the heavy hand of oak. Exceptional value.94 points. Nick Butler, The Real Review
A superb estate release, drinking like a savoury highly aromatic paean to a luncheon quaffer from the northern Rhône. Think Crozes-Hermitage or a more heightened tier, Saint Joseph. Olive, charcuterie, iodine, blueberry and a long peppery skein of jitterbug freshness. A great drink now and across the mid-term. On point.95 points. Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Oh boy, when you get a good year down in the Great Southern, it really does show in the wines. This one is a real breakthrough for Frankland Estate. The wines over the years have been consistently very good, but this one is in another zone. It’s medium bodied and so exquisitely elegant. Spicy plum notes and grainy, minerally tannins running deep. Texture with a fine deft touch. Outstanding.96 points. Ray Jordan, The West Australian
A wine of enormous concentration and flavour impact, yet it does this with a medium body. Ripe satsuma spicy plum characters and just a little licorice. It has a subtle gamey, meaty minerality in the palate with a deep succulent middle. Fine and so elegant. It’s another groundbreaker from this vintage for Frankland Estate.97 points. Ray Jordan, The West Australian
An elegantly structured and poised wine showing an increased amount of Cabernet Franc. It is a strongly Right Bank-influenced wine, showing a taut, controlled palate. Lifted notes of red berry and savoury earthy notes, with a little rich mocha character. Characteristic gravelly tannins support an extended finish. Has some ageing potential.95 points, Ray Jordan, The West Australian