Today being Valentines Day, according to tradition I should be writing about fizz…and probably pink fizz at that. Well…my most recent encounter with pink bubbles wasn’t very successful – you’ll hear more about that soon – so I’m breaking the mould and commenting on a rich red from Down Under.
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot hails from Western Australia. Cape Mentelle was one of the pioneering producers in Margaret River - established in the 1970′s – but it’s now owned by LVMH the people behind Moet et Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Dom Perignon…I just can’t escape sparkling wine today – can I?
Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes are often called Bordeaux Blends because these are the two principal varietals used in red wine in that particular area of France. The 2007 Cape Mentelle has 49% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot along with 4% Petit Verdot; 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. Each year the percentages of wine from each variety may change depending on how the grapes have developed. That’s the skill of a master winemaker. A note from Cape Mentelle tells me that this 2007 blend contains the highest proportion of Merlot they’ve ever used.
Dark ruby in colour, the wine has a seductive blackcurrant and sweetly spicy bouquet. I suspect the latter may come from the 15 months much of the blend spends maturing in American oak barrels.
On the fuller side of medium-bodied, the wine tastes of dark cherries and blackcurrants. Peppery and almost a bit minty, it has elegantly smooth tannins and a super long length. It’s a really “satisfying” wine to drink. The alcohol levels are high at 14.5%, but they don’t feel like it as the wine slips down easily. If I was forced to choose, I still slightly prefer the Stella Bella Cab Sauv Merlot 2007 I reviewed previously – but it’s a very close call.
Priced at £14.99 in Majestic (or £13.99 if you buy two bottles) then this is probably a treat wine – so perhaps it’s appropriate for Valentine’s Day after all?
W.O.W. factor 7