Frankland Estate Smith Cullam Syrah 2018

What a pepper pot!

If this was in a wine show, judges would be fighting over the high degree of pepper in this wine. Does it dominate? Is it too much, eclipsing the rest of the wine’s ingredients? There will be some who will say, yes.

But what about the crunch, the brightness and lift that all of that pepperyness brings to the wine? It adds to the structure, too. It’s also a clear indication that this wine is sourced from a cool climate. The Rotundone flavour and aroma compound which gives us pepper in wine helps define terroir.

This is the Great Southern region well-defined. Winemaker, Hunter Smith, has added a smidge of viognier (5%) and mourvedre (1%) to his shiraz finessing the fruit profile, and he’s also matured the organically-grown fruit in a 3500litre foudre for 15 months, so there will be no noticeable oak but very noticeable texture and, as he says, “lightness of touch.”

Expect intensity and concentrated black fruits, persistence of fine tannins, length . . . and, yes, black pepper.

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