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.
ü+ 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.