Cabernet Franc - it's has been referred to as the blending grape, used in the great wines of Bordeaux, France alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Orange however appears to have found the unique ability to produce and bottle it as a standalone varietal.
Channelling perhaps more the regions of the Loire Valley in France such as Anjou-Saumur, Orange has found tremendous success with the grape.
Utilising the grape and transforming it into a a bright energetic wine that has tremendous intrigue and brightness on the nose, coupled with power and intensity on the palate is truly remarkable.
Part of Bloodwood's original 1983 plantings, this is one of the originators of the single grape varietal style in the region.
Cherry, chocolate and hallmark violet notes on the nose with tremendous berry flavours on the palate.
This wine is a fantastic medium bodied red that has enough power to stand up to heavier protein dishes, with still enough elegance to be enjoyed as a standalone wine.
Matthew Atallah 'Block 1'
Matthew Atallah put a tremendous amount of work into this wine, playing around with new oak, old oak and steel fermentation.
The hard work has paid off with, with the result being a stunning wine of bright red fruits, wonderful length and silky soft tannins.
This wine also has the ability to be drunk immediately or to be cellared for several years with the potential to take on some more savoury notes.
This wine may be practically impossible to obtain, should the option arise for you however grab it.
Sourced solely from the fruit of the Canobolas-Smith vineyard, this 2018 vintage Franc is really only just now starting to see the light of day.
Only around three barrels were produced and the majority of which will most likely be sold to club members.
Bright, buzzing red fruit, cherry, raspberry, cranberry with wonderful fruit texture, this and future vintages of this wine will definitely be ones to watch.
Ross Hill 'Pinnacle Series'
The Cab Franc from Ross Hill was originally for myself the wine that opened the door way for interest into the variety.
It has become uniquely one of the standouts for the Robson Family in their premium 'Pinnacle Series' range, scoring extremely well with the likes of James Halliday.
Cranberries, cherries and a wonderful nose, some vintages of this wine are incredibly deep and intense.
Pretty wine yes but able to survive against roast beef and gravy in the middle of winter.
Tamburlaine 'Single Vineyard'
Yes they are winery based in the Hunter Valley, but importantly they have been looking to the Orange Wine region to source high quality fruit for quite some time now.
Tamburlaine's growing success with fruit from the region is leading them closer and closer to setting up a cellar door in the region and starting production of an actually winery in the region.
Their Cab Franc will defiantly be one of their centrepieces to success.
Beautifully bright fruit, violets, and a wonderfully textured palate.
- David Collins is the restaurant manager and sommelier at Charred, he has been studying wine and the wine industry for several years and will write a wine column for the Central Western Daily every second Saturday.
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