Deep ruby color; black cherry, blackcurrant, liquorice, cedar, bay leaf on the nose; black cherry, blackcurrant, plum, black olive, mocha, tobacco, hint of mint/menthol and oak toast on the palate.
Dry; medium-full body with sumptuous texture; very fine tannins and balancing acidity; blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot; 14% ABV. Round with pleasing depth and some complexity, although finesse rather than multiple layers is its strong suit. Long, fulfilling finish.
The vineyard that produced these grapes was planted in 1970 and the vines are in their prime today. Three brothers—David, Mark, and Giles Hohnen—were the first owners, and the estate was one of the first vineyards on Cape Metelle, just a few miles from the town of Margaret River, located on the far southwest corner of Australia, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Starting with 16 hectares (39.5 acres), the estate now encompasses 150 hectares (370 acres).
Cameron Murphy directs the estate today for owners Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the legendary high fashion brand. While the winery produces a variety of wines, this cabernet sauvignon is their showcase offering. In 2014, the sixth edition of the prestigious Langston’s Classification of Australian Wines elevated Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Outstanding’.
Cape Mantelle focuses in delivering Margaret River terroir. Their website: “The vineyards and grapes are tended with great attention to detail to ensure the highest quality: they are pruned and harvested by hand. As a result, the fruit is protected and provides an excellent raw ingredient for the production of fresh, vibrant, elegant wines. For these same reasons, the estate attaches great importance to sustainable development and environmental impact. Cape Mentelle uses only natural fertilizers and no chemical products or insecticides. By constantly improving its vineyards’ potential and preserving its natural environment, the estate gives future generations the opportunity to go on making exceptional wines.”
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River 2014 is elegant, opulent with enough tannic edge to complement grilled steaks. A cab in a tuxedo; not so much an easy drinker as a debonair dinner companion. Pair with prime rib; peppercorn-crusted flank steak; roasted quail with mushrooms; the usual cab suspects of rich beef steaks . $60-75