Frankland Estate was established in 1988 in Western Australia by Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam, FE-Brand-1-RGB3who are now assisted by their daughter Elizabeth Smith and son Hunter Smith and a small team of workers. The aim is to produce wines that reflect location, soil and vineyard environment rather than the technical prowess of a winemaker. The winery makes admirable chardonnay and shiraz-based wines, but the rieslings are particularly compelling for their purity, concentration and intensity as well as their immense pleasurable qualities. The wines have been certified organic since 2010. Today, we look at the estate’s three top rieslings, all designated as single-vineyard, from the 2014 vintage.

Imported by Quintessential, Napa, Calif. Samples for review.
The Frankland Estate Netley Road Vineyard Riesling 2014, Frankland River, ferments and ages in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels. It offers a very pale gold hue with a faint green tinge and displays a riveting petrol element and astounding limestone minerality, along with staggering scintillating acidity. Yes, four “ing” adjectives! Fortunately, the austerity is leavened somewhat by notes of cloves and acacia, lychee and apricot, but this is primarily a riesling defined by its structural qualities. 13 percent alcohol. Try from 2018 or ’19 through 2028 to ’30. Production was 500 cases. Excellent potential. About $35.
As with its cousin mentioned just above, the Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2014, Frankland River, ferments and matures in stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels. The color is pale but not as pale as the Netley Road; pert aromas and flavors of lychee and petrol, lime peel and peach subtly open to notes of cloves and white pepper, all riven by a decisive limestone and gunflint element that lends the whole package a chiseled, glacial character. It almost goes without saying here that the acidity is clean, bright and vibrant, and that the wine from start to finish is spare, high-toned and elegant. 11.7 percent alcohol. Drink through 2024 to ’28. Production was 1,200 cases. Excellent. About $40.
The color of the Frankland Estate Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling 2014, Frankland River, is pale gold, but what captures your attention are the aromas of lychee and peaches when you pour some into your glass; it’s that penetrating and alluring. These aspects are followed by hints of papaya, tangerine and nectarine, with the characteristic riesling note that here leans more toward rubber eraser than petrol, wreathed with charming elements of jasmine and lilac. Limestone and flint minerality make a powerful entrance, though this wine is a bit warmer and more approachable than its stablemates mentioned above; the texture is more delicate, still lithe and energetic and propelled by an acute limestone nature. 12.5 percent alcohol. Drink now through 2022 to ’24. Production was 400 cases. Excellent. About $35.