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Cape Mentelle Zinfandel

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

Cape Mentelle took the zinfandel bull by the horns over a decade ago, and they are still one of the leaders of the Australian style. It's a full-bodied style that shows aromas of black currant, soft spices and dusty earth on the nose, whilst the palate is rich and juicy, with dark berry and cherry flavours, frisky acidity, ripe tannins, and a spicy, chocolaty finish.

Winemaker's Notes

Introduced to the Estate Vineyard from California in 1974, Zinfandel is a particularly demanding variety to manage both in the vineyard and the winery and results in a unique and hedonistically rich wine.

Appearance: Vibrant mulberry.

Nose: Ripe berries, plums and rhubarb with Cherry Ripe and a hint of ages tobacco.

Palate: Opulent and rich with an abundance of plush ripe cherries and plums and some cinnamon spice. Although powerful the wine also exhibits restraint in its savoury tannin structure and long silky length sure to provide enjoyment for a couple of decades to come.

Food: A fat slice of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black forest cake). Cellaring: Up to 20 years.

Alcohol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

Cape Mentelle Zinfandel

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2011 Vintage) says
To 2018
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
Jeremy Oliver (2011 Vintage) says
Plush, smooth and unctuous, unfolding a profoundly floral, musky and heady bouquet of rose petals, blackberries, blueberry confiture with a wildness and genuine depth of perfume. Smooth and silky, it reveals a lustrous, layered and faintly brambly presence of cherries, plums and dark berries tightly knit with an ultra-fine grade of polished tannin and finishing with exceptional freshness. Simply beautiful clarity, structure and depth of flavour.
The Australian Wine Annual 2014 Edition
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
To 2017
Australian Wine Companion 2013
Jeremy Oliver (2010 Vintage) says
An outstanding wine that reflects its varietal point of difference as well as its regionality. Heady, spicy aromas of blackberries, blueberries, sweet vanilla/cedary oak and dried herbs are lifted by a scent of rose petals and briar. It's juicy, long and smooth, with a pristine, perfectly clear presence of brightly lit fruit underpinned by a fine, tight spine of crunchy tannins, finishing with length, balance and a vivacious cut of acidity. About as non-Californian a zin as you could try, but don't miss out on this wine.
The Australian Wine Annual 2013
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
Even richer and fuller in the mouth than the '10, but bringing the same raft of flavours into play. Its colour retention is excellent, as is the tapestry of tannins on the finish, making it an even better wine.
Australian Wine Companion 2013 2012
Jeremy Oliver (2008 Vintage) says
A brilliant modern zin Ð an artful reflection of the more perfumed and fine-grained Margaret River reds from 2008. It's scented with spicy, floral and meaty aromas of cranberries, blackberries, redcurrants and raspberries, with undertones of bitumen, cloves and cinnamon. Long and supple, with tight-fisted layers of pristine red and blue fruits, it builds in strength and density towards its lingering and finely astringent finish.
The Australian Wine Annual 2012
Tyson Stelzer (2008 Vintage) says
Structured, focused, honed, poised and sophisticated, without a hint of heat of stewiness, and how often can that be said of zin? Berry compote and mixed spice over a finely tuned backbone of firmly textural tannins.
Wine100 2011
Jeremy Oliver (2007 Vintage) says
California, look out! This astonishing Zin has an explosively floral fragrance of blueberries, blackberries and sweet charry, perfumed oak backed by spicy, meaty undertones. Deep and alluring, it's silky-smooth but stacked with layers of enticingly dark and luscious red and blue berries, handsome smoky oaky and roast meat influences, finishing with exceptional balance and elegance. Supported by very fine-grained and dusty tannin, it glides effortlessly towards a long, lingering and savoury finish with persistent notes of bitumen.
Australian Wine Annual 2010 2009
James Halliday (2005 Vintage) says
A complex wine in both flavour and structure terms, yet not heavy or extractive, and carrying its alcohol with ridiculous ease, as it does in California.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
Campbell Mattinson (2005 Vintage) says
They've had their ups and downs with it but Cape Mentelle was one of the first to plant zinfandel in Australia - and they're easily one of the two or three best producers of it. It's notoriously high in alcohol. 2005 RELEASE No shrinking violet at 15.5 per cent alcohol, but for all its warm, mighty flavour there's a noteworthy attempt at restraint, with cool, long tannins twisting through flavours of tar, blackberry, coffee and wood sap. Don't be concerned: the flavour is still mega-applied, DRINK 2008-2014.
The Big Red Wine Book 2008
Jeremy Oliver (2004 Vintage) says
A very elegant, fine and modern zinfandel whose meaty expression of jujube-like blackberry, blueberry and tomato-like fruit is framed by a smooth and fine-grained cut of moderately astringent tannin. It's spicy, floral and confiture like, with a vibrant palate tightly knit with assertive cedar/vanilla oak, finishing with flavours of dark berries and ripe tomato. I'd prefer a drier and more savoury finish.
Australian Wine Annual 2007 2006
James Halliday (2003 Vintage) says
Deep red-purple; rich multi-spice black fruits; sumptuous and supple, though 16° alcohol does heat the finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
Jeremy Oliver (2003 Vintage) says
Loaded with fruit, this authentically concentrated, powerful and spicy zinfandel boasts a heady, smoky bouquet of licorice and plumcake with floral and spirity undertones. The palate is long and black, with a deep treacle-like core of blackberries, plums and currants surrounded by meaty, spicy notes and locked within a firm grip of powerful but fine-grained tannins. Finishes slightly sweet.
Australian Wine Annual 2006 2005
Jeremy Oliver (2002 Vintage) says
Uncompromising, but very polished expression of zinfandel with a typically wild and floral perfume of dark, musky, briary, meaty, licorice-like flavours. Sumptuous, warm and smooth, easily carrying its 16% alcohol, its dark, kernel-like fruit reveals a hint of grenache-like confection before a long, firm and chocolatey finish.
Australian Wine Annual 2005 2004
James Halliday (2000 Vintage) says
Medium to full red-purple; the bouquet has ripe prune, licorice and chocolate aromas; the palate offers lusciously ripe and dense black fruits dipped in chocolate, with fine tannins to balance.
Australian Wine Companion 2003 2002

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