2016 ‘Emily’ Cabernet Franc Merlot


Woodlands has been producing ‘Emily’ since 1989. Woodlands had almost ceased production at the time, and almost all of the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit was sold each year. David Watson and his great friend Peter Anderson discussed what to do with the remaining Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and a little Cabernet Sauvignon. The idea came to make a “right bank” Saint-Émilion blend and call it “Emily”.


When the decision was made to purchase the Woodlands Brook Vineyard, we certainly believed its existing plantings to be serendipitous – no Cabernet Sauvignon (yet), but there was Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot planted on a gentle north facing slope of sandy loam.  So, from 2008 ‘Emily’ became both our expression of the “right bank” blend, and the expression of that site at Woodlands Brook. This wine is made in very limited quantities, with only 300 cases being able to be produced each year.


We believe 2016 may go down in history as Margaret River’s greatest vintage. A perfect warm summer was interrupted by 90mm of rain in mid January, after which the great conditions continued. Our unirrigated vines loved the drink, and went on to produce wines of class and restrained power, balanced by great natural acidity.


Like all red wines at Woodlands, this wine was destemmed and sorted by our gravity fed system. Once harvested and in the winery, the fruit was delivered to the destemmer by a vibrating hopper, where the stems are removed by a swinging motion. Once destemmed, the fruit passed over a vibrating sorting table. Following fermentation this wine was matured in French oak barrels for 14 months, of which forty percent were new.


Our 2016 ‘Emily’ is a blend of 47% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot.


The colour is deep crimson. The nose is powerful and expressive –  a summer garden’s mix of raspberry, blackcurrant and strawberry, violet and lavender. The palate is deep and brooding – with notes of cherry, dark chocolate, bay leaf, charcuterie, and vanillin oak. This wine has a luxurious velvet texture, and finishes with rich, chewy tannin.


This wine would definitely reward time in the cellar – best enjoyed from 2026 to 2030.


For food to match- we recommend roast duck, or sticky Chinese pork belly.


Additional information

Weight1.333 kg