Wine industry pioneer David Hohnen and brothers Mark and Giles established Cape Mentelle Vineyards in 1970. The Cape Mentelle journey started small with just 16 hectares of vines planted on what is now referred to as the ‘Wallcliffe Vineyard’. In the early years David Hohnen experimented with grape varieties including shiraz, cabernet, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc and semillon. Many of these original plantings are the source of the distinctive wines that have come to characterise Cape Mentelle. The winery’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced primarily from the original Wallcliffe Vineyard.
Cape Mentelle unashamedly draw inspiration from the great wines of the world; this is reflected in the techniques employed in the vineyard as they aim to produce wines that capture a unique sense of place in every bottle. These characteristics are defined by the pristine coastal location, unique soils and 40 years of viticultural history.
Cape Mentelle's philosophy extends beyond the glass as they endeavour to create a legacy of sustainability and longevity. Constantly improving the potential of their vineyards and local environments, they are committed to paving the way for the next generation to continue the pursuit of crafting Australia's definitive wine styles.
Season: After a dry winter, Margaret River experienced a moderately warm summer, punctuated by unusual rainfalls in the second half of January which delayed the first harvests by about 10 days. The moderate day and low night temperatures allowed exceptional preservation of the varietal white aromas and a long harvest period to pick each small batch of fruit in the most perfect conditions. As a result, our Chardonnay retained its supportive acidity while developing beautifully ripe fruit flavours and a rich texture.
Winemaking: Our Chardonnay is harvested by hand in one-layer 6.5 Kg crates that allow the fruit to be gently transported to the winery. The fruit is then elevated into our membrane press for pressing directly to oak barrels of which approximately one third are new. Wild fermentation is left to happen with some malolactic fermentation taking place also as the wine is held unracked and unsulfured in barrels for ten to eleven months. Racking and blending happens at the last minute before bottling, in January just before the arrival of the next harvest.
Analysis: 14.0% alcohol, 7.0 g/l total acidity, 3.25 pH