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2018 Zinfandel

2018 Zinfandel
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SKU: ZIN18 1084776
“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 when released, 2 years post-vintage.

Deep, bright magenta with dark plum edges.
The aromatics are bright and complex with dark chocolate covered black cherry, toasted coconut, black forest berries and fig. The nose unfurls to reveal hints of sea salt, spearmint, cayenne and cardamom overlaying intracacies of dried pot pourri and rich Christmas cake
The palate bursts forth with ripe juicy black fruits of cherry and plum with streaks of raspberry coulis entwined with fresh tobacco and mocha notes. The tannins fan out framing the fruit with good integration carrying mid palate sweetness through to a long fine yet firm finish. The subtle smoke and toast of the oak give a dark forest floor character
Zinfandel 91%, Shiraz 9%
Ready for enjoyment in its youth, this wine can also be cellared for 10-25 years and beyond
Food Pairing Notes
We suggest matching this wine with grilled, thick cut lamb chops and rosemary smashed potatoes, or alternatively a fresh homemade spaghetti topped with either slow cooked bolognese ragu with veal and pork meatballs or with slow cooked eggplant, olive and capers. Another wonderful pairing is with a gluten free chocolate cake made with 70% cocoa drizzled with a dark berry coulis or a simple bowl of wild forest berry fruits topped with triple cream and a sprinkle of sea salt
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’. We conducted extensive shoot thinning plus removed the shoulders of the bunches to enable disease free perfect ripening
The Season
Heavy winter rains recharged soil moisture level led into a calm settled period for fruit set to give moderate crop levels. The season was warm in November progressing growth but developed into a cooler ripening period from January through March allowing enhanced flavour and physiological (tannin) development. The huge Marri tree blossom kept the birds occupied allowing the grapes to ripen in perfect health and full balanced maturity
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 Shiraz to excentuate spice and complexity, with a total of 20 months aging
15.7% alcohol, 6.41 g/l total acidity, 3.45 pH

Wine Companion

Erin Larkin

91/9% zinfandel/shiraz. Hand picked, wild ferment, on skins for 51 days, left for 7 months on ferment lees, blended and matured a further 12 months in (50% new) oak, a 50/25/25% mix of French, Hungarian and American. From the near-perfect 2018 vintage, springs this intense, oak-driven and concentrated wine. The year has imparted a concentrated ripeness and balance that will stand it in good stead in the cellar. The evident oak is distracting right now, but will surely mellow over time. A wine with a cult following.


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