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Zinfandel 2016

Zinfandel 2016
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Presumed to have originated in the Balkans, zinfandel was introduced to the estate vineyard from California in 1974. Zinfandel is a particularly demanding variety to manage in the vineyard where it is prone to unruly behaviour. The rewards are reaped in the cellar, where we honor its Northern American heritage with traditional long maceration techniques and spicy oak to produce this uniquely rich and generous wine that has been a favourite of Cape Mentelle followers for years.

Deep crimson, youthful
Delicious notes of Christmas cake, glazed cherries, raisins, orange peel and lots of jammy, red fruit. Wild strawberry compote characters are combined with subtle aromas of sous-bois (forest floor), clove and vanilla caramel oak. Both immediately friendly and inviting at first whiff, the nose is seriously complex and opens to intricate spice and oak characters that magnify the unmistakable, ripe, varietal zinfandel fruit notes.
Similar to the nose, the flavour develops through a ‘yummy’ fruit sweetness to an intense complexity and tannin structure. The fruit is opulent and framed by long supple but focused tannins, giving the wine a very serious direction and exceptional length, this zinfandel claims its Croatian origins as well as its American style generous winegrowing.
Zinfandel 85%, Shiraz 15%
This wine will continue to develop complexity over many years. 10-25 years recommended.
Food Pairing Notes
Not just for barbecues, this wine matches perfectly generously intense flavours such as a wood-fired pepperoni calzone, pepper- crusted Tomahawk steaks, osso bucco or a wild mushroom ragu.
The Vineyard
The fruit for this wine is sourced from our original block of 1974 elongated bush vines, planted at the western edge of the Estate property but also includes a small parcel of zinfandel planted by our founders at their Burnside vineyard a short distance away. 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
After a dry winter Margaret River experienced a moderately warm summer punctuated by unusual rainfalls in the second half of January delaying the first harvest picks by about 10 days. Moderate daytime and low overnight temperatures followed, allowing exceptional preservation of the varietal aromas and a long harvest period to pick each small parcel of fruit at optimum conditions. In the third week of March the zinfandel was handpicked into small crates with a capacity of only 6.5kgs, for the short transfer down the hill into the winery.
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 of 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, American and Hungarian) to highlight the multiple facets and origins of this variety, for a total of 18 months.
14.2% alcohol, 5.9 g/l total acidity, 3.6 pH
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Licensee: Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd. License number: 6180025494. Type of License: Producer's License