Cape Mentelles Estate vineyard was first planted in 1970 and 1972 with additional plantings in 1988 on a ridge of free draining lateritic gravel on an east west row orientation to minimise the effects of strong westerly sea breezes. For over 30 years the best parcels of Cabernet have been carefully managed to produce grapes with full concentrated flavour and with a firm yet fine tannin profile. The grapes are harvested by hand and sorted berry by berry to ensure the best possible expression of fruit character and structure each year.
The 2012 vintage was noted by above average summer temperatures and average rainfall. What resulted was a steady ripening period leading up to a hot January and an early start to the harvest. Mild temperatures throughout February and March ensured fruit harvested in perfect condition and completed by early April prior to heavy late April rains.
The handpicked fruit underwent destemming and berry sorting followed by light crushing. Individual vineyard batches were fermented on skins for up to 30 days. At the desired balance of fruit and tannin extraction, each batch was gently basket pressed, with harder pressings kept aside. The individual parcels were racked to oak following pressing for malolactic fermentation. Regular rackings over an 18 month period ensured the individual wines are at their best prior to blending. The wines were matured in selected Bordeaux coopered barriques of which 50% were new with the balance being one year old. The final blend was completed in October 2013 and bottled in November 2013.