Sourced from our vineyards and one or two selected partner growers in Margaret River. These vineyards exhibit the classic, gravelly, lateritic soils that drain to the west and the microclimate is strongly influenced by the Indian Ocean within 5 km to our west. These vineyards are manually single cane pruned and meticulously treated as individual vines throughout the season and hand harvested in 6.5kg crates that allow each section to be handled with all the particular care it deserves.
Winter provided average rainfall and spring delivered beautiful warm, dry conditions, perfectly setting up vintage 2016. A warm start to summer in January gave good fruit set and crop predictions. An unseasonal single rain event in late January delivered adequate soil moisture for full maturity in red varieties.
After destemming, individual berry sorting and light crushing, individual vineyard batches were fermented on skins for up to 35 days. Ferment management is decided every day by tasting and follows no recipe. At the desired balance of fruit and tannin extraction, each batch was gently basket pressed straight into barrel for secondary fermentation with all the “solids” included. The wines were matured with minimal rackings and a low sulphur regime for 18 to 20 months (depending on batches) in selected Bordeaux-shaped barrels of which about 55% were new. The wine was left unfined and was not filtered prior to bottling in December 2017.
14% alcohol, 5.9 g/l total acidity, 3.7pH.
Cape Mentelle has some very expensive, but very effective, grape sorting equipment, and this may be part of the reason for the purity and the singularity of this beautiful cabernet. It's all there, all laid out for you, blackcurrant/cassis fruit, spicy/earthy undertones and perfectly ripened tannins standing guard over the fruit. The oak is subtle, but has been carefully orchestrated.
The colour is deep and youthful, the bouquet marvellously complex, black fruit aromas intertwining with mossy undergrowth, tobacco, nori and dried-herb notes. It's a more elegant vintage of what can sometimes be a massive cabernet, yet still powerful and piercingly intense, with fine, soft tannins and a long carry.
The Real Review
Deep colour, good hue. The bouquet is marvellously complex: mossy undergrowth, sousbois, tobacco, nori and dried herbs galore. It's a more elegant style than the 2014 or 2009, understated and finessed yet piercingly intense with fine, soft tannins and a long carry.