Cape Mentelle Shiraz/Cabernet 2016
The fruit was harvested and berry sorted prior to fermentation in a combination of open and static stainless steel fermenters. The ferments were managed with a combination of plunging and pump overs. All batches were basket pressed and transferred to large oak vats for malolactic fermentation and subsequent maturation including the use of smaller French barriques. Deep ruby color, perfumed candied violets, cloves, black currant and cedar with an inviting meaty note and hints of cocoa, bay leaf and mixed spice. Medium to full bodied with sweet ripe fruits of plum, mulberry, and currant. The structure is fine with cocoa powder soft tannins providing great length and intensity of flavour balanced by subtle nuances of red licorice, black pepper and a touch of vanilla. Pairs well with braised lamb shanks with garlic and rosemary, a generous barbecue with ribs, spicy sausages and smoked brisket, or a pasta dish with spiced meatballs will perfectly match this deep and wonderfully layered wine.
Cape Mentelle Vineyards is a specialist producer of premium wines in Margaret River in the southwest corner of Western Australia. One of the country's finest wine regions, Margaret River enjoys a maritime location, with the added advantage of a long, dry growing season.
Cape Mentelle was one of the first vineyards established in the Margaret River region. First planted in 1970, there are today over 180 hectares under vine and the winery, constructed in 1977, crushes about 1,500 tons of fruit from estate vineyards and contract grown fruit sourced from within the region. Primary plantings are of Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc with smaller amounts of Shiraz, Zinfandel, Merlot and Chardonnay.
The winery and original vineyard lie between the town of Margaret River and the Cape from which it takes its name. The original Mentelles were Frenchmen, geographer Edmunde and his cartographer brother Francois-Simon, who lived in Paris in the early 1700s.
Cape Mentelle Vineyards is committed to the concept of true regional styles and will continue to expand its operations to produce quality wines. The company believes that the role of specialist wineries lies in the production of premium wines from varieties best suited to specific regions. Emphasis is placed on individual fruit character and the development of a recognizable estate wine style.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.