Cape Mentelle’s Estate vineyard was first planted in 1970 with additional plantings in 1988 on a ridge of free draining lateritic gravel with an east west row orientation to minimise the affects of strong westerly sea breezes. For over 30 years the best parcels of Cabernet have been carefully managed to produce grapes with full concentrated flavour and with a firm yet fine tannin profile. The grapes are harvested by hand and sorted berry by berry to ensure the best possible expression of fruit character and structure each year.
The 2011 harvest in Margaret River was warm, dry, and early and continued the excellent run of recent vintages. Warm nights and above average daily temperatures throughout the growing season led to very early ripening across all varieties with harvest commencing earlier than any of the last five vintages. Ripe, plush and velvety tannins with abundant fruit flavour are the result of an outstanding early and warm vintage.
The hand-picked fruit underwent destemming and berry sorting followed by light crushing. 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 final blend was completed in November 2012 and bottled in December 2012.