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2016 Wallcliffe Cabernet Franc

2016 Wallcliffe Cabernet Franc
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"An exceptional parcel of cabernet franc that demanded its own exclusive bottling."

Every year we release a one-off, limited edition Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe red wine that celebrates and showcases a highlight of the vintage and terroir. In 2016 cabernet franc shone in our 30+ year old Trinders vineyard and demanded its own exclusive bottling. Only 364 doz made.

Very dark, deep garnet with a ranslucent rim.
The aromas open with a cavalcade of red cherries supported by spicy oak bringing hints of clove, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg and toasted brioche, followed by beautiful floral notes.
Round and inviting from the start of the first mouthful, the fruit is ripe but the acidity is fresh with clean berry fruit. The wine shows a voluminous mid-palate although the overall feeling is mid-bodied. Supported by seriously long tannins and fine notes of cigar box, salted toffee, vanilla and that unmistakable floral that interlace with the dark cherry characters.
100% Cabernet Franc
10-25 years
Food Pairing Notes
To ccompany the delicacy of the wine, we recommend an Asian-inspired pork or plum-sauce or eye fillet beef with kombu dashi broth or sweet potato mousse with fresh sauteed oyster mushrooms.
The Vineyard
This cabernet franc originates exclusively from our Estate vineyard sites first planted on the Wallcliffe Vineyard side in 1970 and then on the Trinders side just a few hundred metres away from the original rows in 1988. Both blocks are planted in an east-west orientation. The vineyard is managed in a similar way to our cabernet sauvignon, with two short canes trained as perfect VSP. Manual shoot-thinning and leaf plucking is extensive, starting very early in the season to open up and prepare the clusters for summer conditions, as the vines are fully dry-grown.
Vineyard sorting and harvesting was carried out exclusively by hand, with fruit gathered into small crates holding 6.5kg early in the morning of the 11th of March. The fruit was fully destemmed and lightly crushed minutes later at the winery, less than 400m from these vines. A cold soak followed for 3 days held at 10°c. The maceration was extended post fermentation to reach a total of 35 days on skins. Skins were then basket pressed straight into 100% French oak barrels (40% new) for malolactic fermentation. The wine was left to age in in the same barrels for 18 months before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered in late December 2017.
14% alcohol, 6 g/l total acidity, 3.59pH

The Wine Front

Gary Walsh

It’s a more bold version of Cabernet Franc, and does not lack ripeness, that’s for sure. Blackcurrant, ripe raspberry, mint, violet and rose perfume, nutty nougat oak in support. Medium to full bodied, straight and very direct through the mouth – no nonsense here – some tobacco and dried herb, but well bedded into a core of juicy fruit. Tannin is ripe and firm, and the finish is excellent.


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