Covert Farms Family Estate The Bluff 2016

This is an excellent wine from Covert Farms in the Okanagan Valley in Canada. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot and from the 2016 vintage, its style is reminiscent of a left bank cru bourgeois Bordeaux from a ripe vintage. In the glass, there are earthy, blackcurrant aromatics. The palate has […]

Terre à Terre Shiraz Wrattonbully 2016

Labelled as shiraz, this is in fact a blend of 88% shiraz and 12% cabernet franc. I cannot easily think of where this blend might otherwise appear in the world. It opens to an aroma of game, clove, plums and spice. The palate is full fruited, with cedar undertones (oak is 10% new). Rating: Good. […]

Terre à Terre Cabernet Franc 2016

This is the most serious and high quality expression of Australian cabernet franc that I have tasted. The wine is from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully, near Coonawarra and the border between South Australia and Victoria. The soil here is terra rossa limestone and the vineyard is known as the Crayères. This is a region […]

Frédéric Mabileau St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 2016

You don’t see many St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Loire Valley wines in Australia. I spotted this one, a 100% cabernet franc, and it is a sound example of its style. In the glass, it has an aroma of blackcurrant and sour cherries. The palate has firm acidity and is ready to drink now. At $42, it presents as […]

Bartier Bros Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley 2016

I have tasted this wine a few times now, and it is a very good cabernet franc.  From the Okanagan Valley, its aromatics are restrained, reminding of blackberries and cedar.  The palate is balanced, with hints of tannin.  Ready to drink now, this is an enjoyable wine.  Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.7%. Price: […]

Hester Creek Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley 2016

Cabernet franc from the Okanagan Valley presents as a more robust interpretation of this grape, more right bank Bordeaux than the Loire Valley.  Hester Creek produce a good one.  Its aromas remind of red fruits, while the palate has evident tannins and good balance.  Rating: Good. Abv: 14.1%. Price: $27. Website: hestercreek.com.

Mission Hill Family Estate Compendium Okanagan Valley 2014

Mission Hill have fashioned an outstanding cabernet blend here from the Okanagan Valley in Canada.  It’s a classic Bordeaux style blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 16% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.  Perhaps more than any other wine I have tried to date, this wine showcases the region’s considerable potential and puts Canadian […]

OKV Okanagan Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2016

This is a sound wine at less than $10 from the Okanagan Valley.  A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, it has a simple fruity aroma of red berries.  The palate is dry, with some soft tannins, gentle fruit and the finish in balance.  A safe choice at this price.  Rating: Acceptable. Abv: […]

Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels 2015

This is a high quality merlot blend (76% merlot, 14% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 2% malbec) from Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay in New Zealand.  It has blackcurrant, clove and earth aromatics that are Bordeaux like, although more left bank than right.  The palate has great length and ripe tannins.  Ready to drink […]

Gonet-Médeville Cru Monplaisir Bordeaux Supérieur 2015

This wine is a very good Bordeaux Supérieur, with the vineyard sitting just outside of Margaux. From the excellent 2015 vintage, it’s a merlot dominant blend of 75% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. Generous in style, the wine opens to aromas of plums and red fruits. The palate is medium bodied, fleshy […]