Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps not only one of the most famous Western Australian Cabernet Sauvignon wines, but one of the most iconic red wines from Australia.
Founded in 1970, Cape Mentelle is one of the original “founding five” wineries of the Margaret River wine region, one of the most remote wine regions of the world. It was founded by wine industry pioneer David Hohnen and his brothers Mark and Giles. The vineyards in this corner of Western Australian wine-growing region experience the maritime influence of the Indian Ocean which helps to ensures even temperatures, providing consistently excellent vintage conditions. Cape Mentelle pioneered many of the region’s renowned wine styles (their Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon for example) and today is a benchmark for the quality of the region’s wines. Today Cape Mentelle has over 200 hectares of its own vines across four regional vineyards. It is owned by luxury goods giant Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH).
The fruit for the Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon is a single vineyard wine sourced from the original 16 hectare Wallcliffe Vineyard planted by Hohnen back in 1970 (with further plantings in 1988). Picking and pruning is carried out by hand in the Wallcliffe Vineyard to ensure the vines and grapes the best they can be. The site has the luxury of ample water and classic deep gravelly soils. It is sheltered by surrounding bush and fanned by gentle south-westerly winds. After hand harvest the grapes are manually sorted at the winery with berry selection and de-stemming. This is followed by a light crushing and then individual vineyard batches were fermented on skins for up to 30 days. At the desired balance of fruit and tannin extraction, each batch was gently basket pressed, with harder pressings kept aside. The individual parcels were racked to oak following pressing for malolactic fermentation. Regular rackings over an 18-month period ensured the individual wines are at their best prior to blending. The wines were matured in selected Bordeaux coopered barriques of which 50% were new with the balance being one year old.
The 2013 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot.