Thursday, July 14, 2011


- Margaret River, WA
- $65
- Screwcap
- 13.5%alc

If it's a pristine expression of Australian cabernet franc you're after, then you need look no further than Woodlands' Reserve de la Cave. With the stunning results regularly achieved by Woodlands' Cabernet Franc, it makes me wonder why more Australian producers don't treat the variety with the same level of attention.

I love the fresh green-edged/capsicum scents of cabernet franc, and the 2010 Reserve de la Cave has it right there, sitting at the peak of its bouquet. Its green characters also show a drier herbal edge, which bolster, define and lift its violet, cassis, black cherry and toasty cedar oak aromas with piercing intensity. Despite revealing a velvety plushness of texture backed by chalky tannins, its palate still feels a little youthful, or elemental initially, as these two components don't quite seem in perfect harmony just yet, so a decent decant is advised. Once exposed to a bit of air though, there's no denying the quality on offer here. You'll find it's deliciously saturated with dense forest berry flavours, covering every colour from red to purple to black, all driven along a savoury, dry undercarriage of toasty cedar tones into a wonderfully conceived finish, that's as spectacular for its length as it is for its direction of perfectly composed, fine-grained structure.

ΓΌ+ What a wine! Elegant, harmonious, simultaneously perfectly regional and varietal. Picking a favourite between this and Woodlands' 2010 Malbec is challenging to say the least. The cabernet franc may need a bit more time, but I feel its varietal character suits the Margaret River better, however, the malbec is just so delicious. Either way, both wines make note taking a lot of fun. Drink to 2024.
96 points


  1. I gotta get me both of those!

  2. Both wines sounds amazing. They're the kind of wines that make me excited about the potential of Australian wine as we continue to better understand and make the most of our many different terroirs.

  3. Get on board fellas, amazing they are, although I do have a soft spot for Woodlands :)

    With only 300 bottles made of each, I do think there's a bit of competition for allocation. I put my order in for both within a week of getting my newsletter, and noticed my malbec was numbered 292 of 300 :/

    Good luck though, and more power to top shelf cabernet franc and malbec I say!

    Chris P