One of the truly great partnerships in the Barossa is the blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Whatever the proportions and regardless of whether Shiraz or Cabernet is dominant the synergy is unmistakable.At david Franz I'm pretty much always putting Cabernet Front and Center!
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from our ‘House on the Hill’ and ‘Horse Paddock’ Vineyards here in Stonewell and 25% Shiraz Sourced from the 'Horse Paddock', 'House on the Hill' and 'Stone Well Hill' Vineyards
Total production 768 bottles - 384 bottles released November 2019
Deep dense red with hints of brick lingering around the meniscus.
spearmint perfume layered over black and redcurrant and summer berries. lifted vanilla oak blends back and is filled out with the complexity of the spicy French giving an beautifully balanced nose
The initial richness of the full raspberry characters are poised against the spearmint menthol over finely balanced against firm oak and fruit Tannins. Good acid against the fruit sweetness, cleanses the senses for a beautifully balanced mouthful.The middle palate is full of the of the big berry hit of Cabernet supported by the leathery richness of Shiraz. The long palate finishes with the deep bass complexity brought out by extended lees contact.
It’s almost time for lunch on the 13th’ of November 2019, as I sit here and put musings to electronic paper to celebrate this ‘Slow Release’ of the 2011 Alexander’s Reward Cabernet Shiraz. Alex is having his first year as an ‘Only Child’ and absolutely loving it. The five- & seven-year age gap with his older siblings means that as they have now buggered off to the big smoke & he’s got his parents to himself. It’s bloody nice to have the older ones out of the way and get a chance to spend time with the ‘forgotten child’ - one on one and in a relaxed way. Alex and I connect on many levels, but our most profound moments of simpatico revolve around food and wine. Alex has a fantastically sensitive sense of taste and smell which ironically when he was younger stopped him from enjoying many dishes. The intensity was more than he could take, and he would revert to quite bland dishes by preference. Luckily the passing of the years has cured him of such timidity and these days we are the best of food buddies, constantly on the hunt for the best mouth-gasmic experience possible. We usually enjoy a small glass of wine together with our dinner, when eating at home, and I’m well aware this slightly hedonistic early programming has spoilt him for ever. Bugger it! It’s our place to gift our kids with tools they can carry forward in life, so sorry mate, with tastes like yours, it’s not going to ever be cheap to live.
The 2011 Alexander’s Reward Cabernet Shiraz was created from small batch parcels drawn from Sand, Loam and Clay from both our Stone Well Hill and Stelzer Road Vineyards. Each batch was hand plunged three times a day during active ‘cap lifting’ ferment. 2011 was a year best described as taking a massive bite and chewing like buggery. On a personal level, it was the last vintage I did completely by myself at david Franz. Being an abundantly fecund & very wet year, crop levels were generous to say the least. I punched through my largest vintage ever over a record breaking 145 days from first pick to last press. This crazy length of time was partly due to the wetter conditions meaning we needed patience while waiting for flavour, particularly on the later varietals. But this was also the year I really pushed the envelope on the Cabernet Sauvignon with 90-100 days of skin contact before pressing. By comparison, the Shiraz ‘only’ spent 45-50 days on skins. The result of this extended skin contact was the building of incredibly complex fruit density coupled with plush yet soft tannin structure. I followed this up with 42 months barrel time on full or gross lees, in predominantly older oak (American for the Cabernet & French for the Shiraz). The Cabernet and Shiraz were blended and bottled in early April 2015. 384 Bottles have been ‘Slow Released’ in November 2019 of the 2011 Alexander’s Reward Cabernet Shiraz; as an eight-and-a-half-year-old wine; just entering its juvenile peak. Team david Franz have as always finished the bottle with the hand printed love we would never let it leave home without.
Enjoy and Cheers!