The Leconfield Cabernet Franc is Medium-full red with scarlet hues. The aroma shows elegant, ripe mulberry fruits, with a hint of dark chocolate. Oak plays a subliminal role in this wine to allow the varietal fruit to shine through.
The essence of the palate is its elegant texture, roundness and length. Silky tannins roll over the tongue to give a creamy sensation. The flavours show ripe boysenberry characters.
The elegance of this wine will match quite an array of foods. Try it with veal saltimbocca, pasta, aubergine lasagne, rare lamb or soft cheese.
Excellent on release and will age over the next decade or more. Expect cedar and cigar box characters to develop with time.
Leconfield is situated in the heart of Australia’s famous Coonawarra with its rich Terra Rosa soil over limestone providing the ideal environment for growing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard was founded in 1974 by pioneering oenologist Sydney Hamilton who at 76 years of age had the ambition to produce the classic Australian red wine. Time has validated his choice of Coonawarra as a fantastic place to do just that. Today the estate remains a family wine business owned by Dr Richard and Jette Hamilton and is planted predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller patches of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Petit Verdot and complemented with the white varieties of Riesling and Chardonnay. The Hamilton family have been growing grapes and wine in South Australia since 1837.
The Cabernet Franc vineyard was planted in 1982 and we have occasionally released a single varietal wine when conditions have provided an outstanding example of the variety. Harvest was on the 7th March and, after 7 days in a small fermenter, the wine was racked and then matured in 4-5 year old hogsheads so as to complex the wine without unduly masking the fruit with excessive oak. After 15 months ageing, the wine was prepared for packaging. We believe this to be a very good example of the variety, without the firm tannins often associated with Cabernet Sauvignon. It has elegance and strength. Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc are the two ancestors of Cabernet Sauvignon. Jancis Robinson has described it as ‘subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious’, a more ‘feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon’.
For the second consecutive year, the growing season was much drier than average with our vineyards receiving only 40% of the average annual rainfall from August to March. Despite that, excellent fruit set provided a more fruitful crop compared with recent years. February’s maximum temperature was about average, but all other months from October to March had warmer maximum and minimum temperatures, leading to earlier flowering, veraison and ripening. Our white varieties were picked in February to take advantage of lovely natural acidity. The red harvest was the earliest that we can remember and the small berry size of the grapes produced full, rich styles with deep red colours and ripe tannin structure. 2017 is again an outstanding year in Coonawarra across all varieties.
100% Oak Matured for 15 months in 4-5 year old French oak hogsheads.