Grapes are primarily sourced from the Estate Vineyard, planted in 1972, as well as the McHenry Vineyard, planted in 1994 and our Foxcliffe Vineyard, planted in 1999. All sites share similar soil types, growing on deep gravel laterite soils derived from decomposed granite over clay subsoils.The Estate vines are dry farmed.
The 2005 season was distinguished by its long, mild, dry summer. A late summer cyclone produced a large amount of rainfall. Luckily this had very little effect on Cape Mentelle’s fruit quality since the majority had already been harvested by then.
The zinfandel was handpicked around mid March. After crushing, the must was allowed to soak for several days prior to fermentation to soften up the raisins before being inoculated with a vigorous yeast strain. The wine steadily fermented to dry and was racked to barrel by springtime and naturally completed malolactic fermentation. We used 50% new oak barrels, primarily French, for a total of 20 months.
15.5% alcohol, 6.4g/l total acidity, 3.5pH.