Men­telle wine­maker Mann for all sea­sons

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - By JOHN JENS

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.

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