Mentelle winemaker Mann for all seasons
IN early 2013, a couple of years after their release, some of the best of Margaret River’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignons were magnificent - and far more expressive and better drinking than they had been two years earlier.
The tasting showed that Rob Mann’s Cape Mentelle release could once again match the Wilyabrup powerhouses of Cullen, Moss Wood, Vasse Felix and Woodlands.
In 2005, Robert Mann came back from his wine education and time with the Hardy Wine Company in South Australia to take over the winemaking role at Cape Mentelle.
He rejoined a WA wine family that had included his grandfather and great grandfather ( both senior Houghton winemakers), his uncle (a State government viticulturist and senior winemaker at Sandalford – and now the owner of the Swan Valley’s Mann winery) and his father (a valley grape grower).
His aunt founded the Lam- ont’s winery and seven of his siblings and first cousins and their children work in wine and food.
Mann’s wife Gen was also a winemaker at Howard Park.
The 2009 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon was even better and was the winery’s greatest wine of any variety until that time.
Then came the extraordinary 2010, one of Margaret River’s greatest wines of all time, which was fine, supple and subtle, great length and brilliant oak handling - 19+points.
The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, at four years of age, is just starting to relax and blossom into something special.
Long, full and soft cabernet fruit surrounded by structuring fine and supple texturing tannins from carefully selected quality fruit and what must be very astutely selected and judiciously used oak.
It is juicy, young, dense, restrained, modern and clearly a ‘New World’ cabernet at its best - 19+ points.
The 2012 is the current release and most reviewers, and Cape Mentelle estate director Cameron Murphy, who has been working with the brand for over a decade, believe that it is the best yet.
The original Cabernet vines planted in 1970 on Cape Mentelle Estate’s Wallcliffe Vineyard.