About Cape Mentelle

RAY JORDAN WINE GUIDE

Cape Mentelle was a pioneer of the Margaret River region, playing a leading role in defining the regional style of cabernet sauvignon that now stands alongside the world’s best. The wines made here reflect their origins and regionality and are consistently among the finest from the region. They have never been better, with cabernet reaching exceptional heights. Read more

A MARGARET RIVER ICON ESTABLISHED IN 1970

As one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, Cape Mentelle pioneered many of the region’s renowned wine styles and today is a benchmark for the quality of the region’s wines.

THE CAPE MENTELLE HERITAGE

The winery takes its name from the nearby Cape, named by the French ‘Baudin Expedition’ which charted the coast of Western Australia in 1801. They named the Cape after two notable French scientists, geographer Edmund and his cartographer brother Francois-Simon Mentelle, who lived in Paris in the early 1700’s.

Wine industry pioneer David Hohnen and his brothers Mark and Giles established Cape Mentelle Vineyards in 1970. Our phenomenal 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.

In 1983 Cape Mentelle won the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Award for the best one year old dry red wine, and cemented its position as a premium wine maker with another win in 1984. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is now widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading cabernets.

Another wine to become a core part of the winery’s portfolio was the distinctive Zinfandel. David Hohnen had studied wine at Fresno State University in California and was captivated by this robust variety. The 1972 plantings at Cape Mentelle were one of the first commercial vineyards of the variety in Western Australia.

At first the focus was on red wines, including a gutsy Shiraz. A turning point for the production of white wines came in 1985 when David Hohnen established Cape Mentelle’s sister winery, Cloudy Bay, in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay won world recognition with its Sauvignon Blanc. Cape Mentelle meanwhile developed a stylish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend that was to become another benchmark of the Margaret River region, and a Chardonnay sourced from vineyards outside the estate.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s wine making at Cape Mentelle was characterised by experimentation to improve quality, understand the potential of the fruit from each particular vineyard and develop a distinctive house style. The character of the grape varieties and the special attributes of the regional terroir are part of the style that evolved.

The area under vine increased with the establishment of the 23 hectare Trinders Vineyard in 1988 followed by the Chapman Brook Vineyard in the early 1990’s. By this time Cape Mentelle had a well established reputation in the Australian market. A partnership with Veuve Clicquot enabled Cape Mentelle to take the next step, further developing the winery with a new cellar and modern equipment and an expansion into the international market.

Today Cape Mentelle, as part of Estates & Wines (owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), continues to build on its solid foundations.

WALLCLIFFE VINEYARD

A pioneering spirit coupled with knowledge and understanding of sound viticultural practice led to the establishment of this 16 hectare vineyard in the early 1970’s. The basic viticultural principles of soil, site and variety, or in this case ‘varieties’, have created quality and consistency beyond all expectations, as evidenced by the iconic Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon. Picking and pruning is carried out by hand in the Wallcliffe Vineyard, to give the utmost respect to these vines and to ensure continued production of the fresh, vibrant and stylish wines that have become the trademark of Cape Mentelle. Varieties planted at Wallcliffe are sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, zinfandel and shiraz and these vines have provided source material for new blocks as the vineyard has expanded. The site has the luxury of ample water and classic deep gravelly soils. It is sheltered by surrounding bush and fanned by gentle south-westerly winds. The east-west orientation of the rows was originally thought to provide protection from prevailing winds, but in some seasons this orientation necessitates judicious leaf plucking to even out ripeness. The three cabernet sauvignon blocks are cane pruned. Row spacing is mostly 3 m, with 1.5 to 1.8 m vine spacing with predominantly vertical shoot positioning trellising. There is some bush vine zinfandel.

Wine Making Process

A pioneering spirit coupled with knowledge and understanding of sound viticultural practice led to the establishment of this 16 hectare vineyard in the early 1970’s. The basic viticultural principles of soil, site and variety, or in this case ‘varieties’, have created quality and consistency beyond all expectations, as evidenced by the iconic Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon. Picking and pruning is carried out by hand in the Wallcliffe Vineyard, to give the utmost respect to these vines and to ensure continued production of the fresh, vibrant and stylish wines that have become the trademark of Cape Mentelle.

Varieties planted at Wallcliffe are sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, zinfandel and shiraz and these vines have provided source material for new blocks as the vineyard has expanded. The site has the luxury of ample water and classic deep gravelly soils. It is sheltered by surrounding bush and fanned by gentle south-westerly winds. The east-west orientation of the rows was originally thought to provide protection from prevailing winds, but in some seasons this orientation necessitates judicious leaf plucking to even out ripeness.

The three cabernet sauvignon blocks are cane pruned. Row spacing is mostly 3 m, with 1.5 to 1.8 m vine spacing with predominantly vertical shoot positioning trellising. There is some bush vine zinfandel.

Our Winemakers

 

VINEYARD MANAGER

DAVID MOULTON
DAVID MOULTON

A true local, born in Busselton a small coastal town just 30 minutes from Margaret River, David began working in vineyards at 18 which sparked a passion for wine and viticulture. He continued to work for local wineries while completing his Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Oenology at Curtin University. Aside from his experience in Margaret River, David has also worked in the Rutherglen and Great Western regions of Victoria and in the Rhone Valley, France. Joining Cape Mentelle in April 2014, David shares our dedication to sustainability and innovation. With over 15 years wine experience under his belt, David is focused on creating a strong, proud and passionate team.

David’s ongoing ambition is to ensure that the Cape Mentelle vineyards provide our winemakers with grapes of the highest quality and unlocking the secrets of growing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. When he is not in the vineyards he enjoys spending time with his young family and exploring the beautiful remote coastlines of the region.

CONTACT

Phone 9757 0812
cellardoor@capementelle.com.au

Website

http://www.capementelle.com.au/

Cape Mentelle

331 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River Western Australia, 6285

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RAY'S WINE GUIDE 2017