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2017 Semillon

2017 Semillon
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"A singular expression of a Margaret River favourite; like a genie in the bottle, true magic is created in our concrete egg; roundness, texture and minerality."

Drawing inspiration from great Australian semillon, Cape Mentelle aims to honour this heritage with a rich and complex wine showcasing the intensity, focus and uniqueness of this often under-appreciated variety.
Semillon performs exceptionally well in Margaret River and is a standout white variety that is typically blended with sauvignon to make the region’s signature sauvignon blanc semillon and semillon sauvignon blanc wines.

Bright light hay with fresh green edges.
This wine bursts forth with heady aromas of wisteria blossom, fresh lime juice, kaffir lime leaf and fresh cut hay. It’s shy at first but once coaxed with a swirl or two, will reveal a bright mineral flintiness with hints of jasmine, cucumber skin and cedar smoke.
The palate is restrained and fiercely mineral focused, linear with its lemon juice and steely flint, yet savoury and textured offering hints of cream and talcum powder. This medium weight, rich yet lithe wine has intriguing peach and toasted pecan notes wrapped up in a fine powdery texture that hints at its cement egg birthplace, with extensive lees savouriness adding an enticing salty umami character, rarely found in white wines.
Semillon 98%, Sauvignon Blanc 2%.
Whilst delicious upon release, this wine will reward careful cellaring for 15 years or more.
Food Pairing Notes
The texture lends the wine well to a spread of Spanish tapas dishes including grilled haloumi drizzled with lemon juice, thinly sliced Jamon Iberico, grilled octopus on sliced young potato sprinkled with smoked paprika, fresh anchovies with garlic oil or simple herb oil soaked olives. A delicious foray into ceviche or fresh sushi can bring out the gentle saline nuances of this semillon and be a wonderous match.
The Vineyard
Our best blocks of semillon are planted on free draining lateritic gravel with a layer of clay appearing at variable depths. This is a blend from our Chapman Brook Vineyard, our coolest site, located approximately 20 minutes south east from the winery, derived from two low cropping blocks; blocks 4 and 7. The parcels are spur and cane pruned to strict vertical shoot positioning, the site is cool giving slow ripening allowing a great complexity to develop. The semillon vines’ canopies are opened to allow gentle ripening and rounder fruit flavours.
The Season
Winter of 2016 was characteristically wet, with August experiencing a recent rainfall record of 228 mm - resulting in a significantly higher than average annual rainfall total. Spring was generally milder and experienced slightly more rainfall than average. Flowering in all varieties was delayed 10 days as compared to 2016, with this period generally sunny, resulting in excellent set. Summer was mild with few hot days, and veraison occurred 3 weeks later than in 2016. The gentle ripening conditions resulted in wines of exquisite mineral acidity and detailed aromatic and flavour profiles, a beautifully balanced year.
This wine starts with a selection of the best parcels of fruit in the vineyard, the 2017 fruit was carefully machine harvested at night to best preserve the fruit freshness. The berries were lightly macerated then gently pressed, fermented in a unique 700 litres concrete egg which naturally creates a vortex whilst fermenting, allowing the ferment solids or lees to constantly be in suspension. This adds flesh and weight to the wine whilst preserving delicate flavours and aromas. The wine was aged unsulphured and untouched on lees for two years with regular stirring. The wine was lightly filtered and bottled, being allowed to bottle age for 14 months before release.
11.5% alcohol, 6.53 g/l total acidity, 3.21 pH
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Licensee: Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd.
License number: 6180025494. Type of License: Producer's License