Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015

Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015, Margaret River, Australia, 13.5%

(AU$40, WineSquare)

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll already be aware that I was lucky enough to spend a glorious ten days touring some of Australia’s finest vineyards in December. It was a trip that took me to the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and right down to the south of Tasmania, but I began my journey in the far west of the country, in Margaret River.

It therefore seems appropriate to kick off my Australian Top Tips with the wine I drank on my very first evening. Even after a sixteen-hour, non-stop flight to Perth and then a three-hour drive down to Margaret River, this wine still managed to stop me in my tracks. If you’re worried that I may have been just over-excited at having finally arrived, rest assured I tasted this wine again at the vineyard the following day and it was just as delicious.

Cape Mentelle was one of the first estates to be established in Margaret River back in 1970, and this is a classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc (66%) and Semillon (34%) from the estate’s oldest vineyard.

Using the best parcels of grapes and waiting until the Semillon is intensely golden before picking, winemaker Frederique Perrin then allows some pre-fermentation skin maceration and then a mixture of barrels, stainless steel and concrete eggs in the winemaking to create this beautifully elegant and rich, yet wonderfully drinkable wine.

The aromas are restrained but creamy while in the mouth it’s spicy, mouth-watering, and full of lemon zest and roasted hazelnut flavours.

Sadly it’s not yet available in the UK (time to start a campaign?!) But either way it made a wonderful start to my Australian odyssey, more news of and reports on which will follow over the coming weeks and months.

(8.75/10, Susie, Dec 2018)