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2017 Zinfandel

2017 Zinfandel
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“Australia’s leading example of this bold and generous variety”

Zinfandel was introduced to our Estate vineyard from California in 1974 and has developed a loyal following over the decades. With only 1.15 ha planted across 22 rows, this dry grown, bush vine Zinfandel can be prone to unruly behaviour in the vineyard. Great attention to detail in the care of the vines, including 100% hand harvesting, results in a wine that is always a joy to taste.

Deep magenta with dark ruby edges.
The aromatics are dark and brooding with Christmas spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, lifted fresh red roses and potpourri. Hints of candied ginger, marmalade and poached plum overlay the Christmas pudding complexity of liquorice, brandy soaked raisins and rhubarb.
The palate bursts forth with Christmas cake spices candied cherry and ginger, sweet dark chocolate, dried date and fig paste. Dancing elements of aniseed, cardamom and dried fruits envelope the palate with warmth and richness, framed by firm yet fine grained tannins. This wine is a symphony of sweet and savoury, captivating and engaging with every sip.
Zinfandel 87%, Grenache 8%, Shiraz 5%.
Ready for enjoyment in its youth, this wine can also be cellared for 10-27 years and beyond.
Food Pairing Notes
We suggest highlighting the savoury complexity of this wine by matching it with lamb shank, slow cooked with morel mushrooms, pepper encrusted hanger steak with grilled seasonal vegetables or Mexican mole sauce drizzled over coal roasted root vegetables, with seared capsicum and eggplant.
The Vineyard
The fruit for this wine is sourced from our original block of bush vines, planted in 1974 at the western edge of the Wallcliffe Vineyard, together with a small parcel planted by our founders close by. Trellising is a hybrid bush vine with training wires and all operations are conducted manually throughout the season as this fussy variety requires enormous care, although it remains one of the team’s favourite ‘unruly children’.
The Season
The preceding winter gave healthy rains, replenishing soil moisture levels which led into a milder spring with higher than average rainfall amounts. Flowering in all varieties was delayed by 10 days compared to the 2016 season, with wonderful sunshine giving excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer, punctuated by only a few hot days (over 30°C), veraison (colouring and softening of berries) in early February came three weeks later than 2016 (mid January) giving one of the latest yet highest quality vintages on record.
After destemming and a very light crush, the must was allowed to soak at cool temperatures for several days prior to fermentation to naturally rehydrate the raisins - so typical for this variety. The wine steadily fermented to dryness prior to basket pressing directly to oak barriques for malolactic fermentation and maturation. We used around 50% new oak with a combination of origins (French [50%], American [25%] and Hungarian [25%]) and blended in a touch of Grenache and Shiraz to accentuate spice and complexity, with a total of 18 months aging.
14.8% alcohol, 6.2 g/l total acidity, 3.6 pH.

The Real Review

The Real Review

A bright, youthful wine in the glass. The nose is complex - an array of spices meld happily with quality toasty oak, muberries and plums. There's nothing shy about it, concentrated and ripe, yet balanced and demanding the next sip. Red raisins, cinnamon and those dark plums also return. It's a delicious young wine that will live for many years. 

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Cape Mentelle

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