There's an artful elegance,

layered depth and precise focus

about Cape Mentelle's wine”

Jeremy Oliver, The Australian Wine Annual 2015
 

Zinfandel

A unique wine from the 36 years old, low yielding bush vines of our original Estate Vineyard. This zinfandel exudes flavours of plum pudding, black cherry and sweet spices on a rich, mouth filling palate. Hand picked, basket pressed and matured in the finest oak it is. Australia’s leading example of this bold and generous variety.

Vintage Notes
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

2015

Type
Red

Zinfandel 2015

Presumed to have originated in the Balkans, Zinfandel was introduced to the estate vineyard from California in 1974. Zinfandel is a particularly demanding variety to manage in the vineyard where it is unruly and prone to catching diseases. But the rewards are reaped in the cellar where we honor this northern American heritage with traditional long maceration techniques and spicy oak to produce this uniquely rich and generous wine that has been a favourite of Cape Mentelle followers for years.

Nose
Intense and complex, the nose starts with notes of fresh shiitake and sous-bois, then develops into a whirl of sweet and savoury spices - cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla - that rests on a solid base of jammy red fruits. Once the nose opens, smoky oak and cigar box notes mix with animal, meaty aromas that invite the first sip.
Palate
The texture is immediately rich with intense and bright, ripe, red fruit flavours. The whole palate is opulent while balanced: big and rich with smooth long tannins that feel silky and chocolatey. The finish draws on long notes of coffee and spiced panacotta.
Blend
92% Zinfandel, 8% Shiraz.
Cellaring
This wine is young: consider cellaring for 1 to 5 years for full enjoyment. Potential ageing 10-15 years.
Food Pairing Notes
Serious barbecues, especially Argentinian style asados. This wine is not afraid of spices and rubs: pair with hard cheeses and charcuterie boards, beef prime ribs and artisanal grilled sausages.
The Vineyard
The fruit is sourced from a single block of 1974 elongated bush vine, planted at the edge of the Estate property. All operations are conducted manually and this very fussy variety requires enormous care throughout the season although it remains one of the team’s favourite unruly children.
The Season
After a sunny and mild September 2014, Margaret River experienced a cool spring all the way to the year end. 2015 brought the driest January on record, on par with 2008 and concluded with some hot days in the mid 30s during the last week. The nights remained cool through summer, favouring delicate floral and red fruit flavours especially. The red harvest was difficult due to some sporadic rains but patience was rewarded as the fruit dried beautifully to some very expressive varietal characters.
Winemaking
The Zinfandel was handpicked mid-March. After destemming, the must was allowed to soak at cool temperatures for several days, prior to fermentation to naturally rehydrate the raisins - so typical of this variety. The wine steadily fermented to dryness, prior to basket pressing directly to oak barriques for malolactic fermentation and maturation. We used about 50% new oak with a combination of origins (French, American and Hungarian) to highlight the multiple facets and origins of this variety, for a total of 18 months.
Analysis
14.5% alcohol, 5.8 g/l total acidity, 3.63 pH.

Jamessuckling.com

James Suckling
94

This Zinfandel is the real deal. Aromas of dark fruit, figs and chocolate. Full body, juicy tannins and a savory finish. Hints of cream. 50% new wood. From 75-year-old head pruned vines. Small production. Screw cap. Drink now

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Licensee: Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd. License number: 6180025494. Type of License: Producer's License