In addition to his achievements with the Adelaide Hills 'standards' of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir, Leabrook Estate's very focused Colin Best also produces some rather fascinating takes on red Bordeaux varieties. Lately my pick of Leabrook's lot has been the cabernet franc, which in years like 2005 (92pts) successfully captures the style's distinctive fragrance and lean, dry, dusty qualities.
Leabrook's 2006 Cabernet Franc shows valid green notes of capsicum and dried herbs laid across aromas of blackcurrants, tobacco and ripe cherry in a fruit focused style, although there remains a clean whiff of toasty cedar/vanilla oak residing in the background. Much fuller and more sumptuous than the 2005 release, its generous palate announces a juicy core of vibrant berry flavours which extend with nuances of fresh green capsicum, toasty oak and tobacco. It finishes clean and soft in a charmingly drinkable manner, with a surprisingly creamy extract of ripe tannins balanced by well judged acids and underlined by lingering fruit.
ü This juicy and generously fruited, perhaps typically Australian cabernet franc presents quite a contrast to my recollections of Leabrook's leaner, dry and structured 2005, but having said that it's a success in its own right and only adds to the pleasure I've experienced from this emerging label. Drink to 2013.