This is an Australian blend of Cabernet Franc and Shiraz made in a French style by Jacques Lurton's Islander Estate on the beautiful Kangaroo Island off the south coast of Australia. The charming Jacques Lurton is a renowned flying winemaker and owner of several other wine interests in his native France; he selected Kangaroo Island for its terroir and cool climate to allow him to produce medium-bodied, elegant wines, a little at odds with the then Australian style of big, fruity wines.
As a bit of background Kangaroo Island was one of the first sites for Soldier Settler camps, where returning servicemen and their families lived for up to ten years whilst awaiting their land allocation. They worked to help Kangaroo Island become the agricultural heartland that it is today.
For the 2014 vintage Shiraz takes over as the majority grape at 60% with Cabernet Franc at 40%; this is a beautiful, medium-bodied, ultra smooth wine with sufficient sweet tannins to give it backbone without overpowering the wine
. The Viognier which was added in previous vintages has been left out since the 2013 vintage but even without it the aromas and flavours are complex and concentrated
This and may need a little time in the glass or decanter to open up and reveal the black fruits including ripe blackcurrant and blackberry, the cherries, chocolate, liquorice, spice, violets and eucalyptus
. The tannins provide structure and are well balanced by acidity and the fruit flavours
. The wine leaves a long flavoursome finish. It
will develop further over the next few years but is drinking well now.
Recommended to drink with roast beef, steak, lamb, game, hard cheeses
"Colour : Vibrant red. Nose : Vanilla, plums, violets, capsicum and spice with hints of quality French oak. Palate : Soft texture with a round, medium-body. Flows through the mouth until the fine tannins come to crisp edge. Takes some time in the glass to reveal all of its character. Finish : firmly structured with natural acidity and sweet tannins, the finish is long and dry."
92 points James Halliday Mar 2016
"Bright colour; cabernet franc calls the opening shots with its spicy tobacco aromas spilling over into the palate, shiraz not directly challenging; finely spun tannins accompany spice thoughout the palate."
***** Winery Rating James Halliday