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2001 Cape Mentelle Shiraz
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- ABV 14.8%
- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Cape Mentelle.
Grapes are predominantly sourced from the estate’s Wallcliffe and Trinders vineyards grown on gravel laterite soils derived from weathered granite over clay sub-soils, and planted 26 and 13 years ago respectively. The vines are vertically trained and cane pruned. A portion of the vineyard is trained by both the Scott Henry and TK2 method to help control vigorous growth. Shoot and leaf removal is employed during the course of the season on all vines. The Karri Park vineyard, located on coastal sands in the southern part of the cape, is a new addition to the blend and offers fruit exhibiting intense peppery flavours.
Vine growth started early after good rainfall in July-August, followed by a dry and mild period from September through to March. These ideal conditions saw rapid and healthy growth, with full vine development completed a month early, by late November. With soil moisture depleted by December, some supplementary irrigation was required. Vines revelled in these conditions and another fine vintage seemed assured, providing judicious shoot removal and positioning was carried out. The dry conditions and the unusually mild January - March period ensured that the grapes ripened slowly and evenly, obtaining good balance between grape flavour, sugar and tannins.
An early batch of Shiraz was harvested from the Trinders vineyard on the 19th March with 23.5 brix sugar and quite peppery flavours, however the majority was harvested between the 29th March and the 5th April in the range 24.4 - 26.2 brix. Yields ranged between 6.0 - 9.8 tonnes per hectare. The vintage allowed the production of a succulent, fleshy wine with ripe but true varietal flavours that display great concentration.
About 20 per cent of the fruit was hand-picked and conveyed to the fermenters as whole bunches with the balance machine-harvested and crushed on top of the bunches. Fermentation proceeded rapidly with the ferment warmed to 32C to achieve a fast initial maceration. On the 7th day, the wine was drained off and the skins gently pressed with hard pressings kept separate. Malolactic fermentation followed quickly in large vats after which the wine underwent a series of rackings. Most of the wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, 30 per cent of which were new; the rest was aged in large oak vats. Oak plays a subservient role to fruit flavours. Blending and bottling took place in October 2002.
Tasting Notes: Sweet cherry liqueur, mocha and quality oak with vibrant varietal aromas of pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Deliciously ripe fruit, powdery tannins and the lingering taste of pure shiraz define this wine.