I have the luxury of hoofing back and forth to the Yarra Valley, in Melbourne's far outer east. Its annoying for Yarra Valley business, seen as rural and out of Melbourne, but part of the greater Melbourne area for lockdown purposes. It's tough.
But they are a resilient people and a great bunch of artisans and makers and doers. In an outer, sub region of the Yarra Valley called Steele's Creek is the Rising Vineyard with minimal intervention advocate, winemaker Anthony Fikkers at the helm. Part of the new breed of vinous adventurers, Fikkers leaves the fruit, wild yeasts and nature to take care of the wine.
This Cab Franc is a tad adventurous as well. From a less than perfect vintage, it starts as a tad cabbagey (if that's a word) where there is a sulfur kind of nose when first opened. Non traditional winemaking is often done without the addition of sulfites which can give the wine a little 'wind' (blame the dog). From there the nose opens up to be very complex, with cherry and red currant notes with some mild aniseed or wild fennel and a bot of charry spice.
That big nose belies an almost feminine quality in the wine - a tart feminine quality with sour plums and barely ripe cherries. It is a lighter style of Cabernet France, less boisterous than many, more beaujolais in style than a hefty, heavy red. It was bottled without filtering or fining, so expect a little funkiness as well. It would sit well alongside some spicy chicken or a Tuesday night bowl of tomato based pasta in front of the television, although it is a tad on the pricey side. We will forgive them because it is such a small batch.
RRP $35 online or at some independent retailers.
VIC | 2020 | Yarra Valley | 12.5% ABV