Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2006

On a recent trip to Margaret River I’ve been confronted again with the boom of new wineries and cellar doors. Along with the fortunes made in mining, a lot of those places have been there for a while, especially at the northern end of the Wilyabrup area, but this time I suddenly became aware of the scale of developments. In the battle of egos big is the keyword, with oversized buildings, golden statues, water features and the ever compulsory cast iron gates.  To me it all seems unnecessary, especially in an otherwise unspoiled region like Margaret River where less is generally so much more beautiful. The comparison with the region’s Chardonnays is never far away, as the personality of these wines is often expressed through excessive oak, alcohol and lees stirring. Fortunately an increasing number of winemakers moves away from this style, allowing fruit, site and vintage speak for themselves. The Cape Mentelle Chardonnay is a perfect example with lower alcohol, well handled, restrained use of oak, and fresh, clean and crisp fruit. Sure, this cool vintage has helped to craft a leaner wine, although I also believe in a well chosen approach to style. It has all resulted in a clear, light straw coloured wine with aromas of lemon, grapefruit, white peach, melon and subtle notes of vanilla, nutty and spicy oak preceding detailed and precise flavors that are build on a well balanced base of barrel ferment characters and natural acidity. This wine clearly shows how Australian Chardonnays can still be appealing without showy muscles and weight. 92 points

Source: LVMH  Price: $43  Drink: Now-2012

Web: www.capementelle.com.au

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Explore posts in the same categories: Australia, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Tasting Notes, Variety, Wine

One Comment on “Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2006”

  1. Mat Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the Cape Mentelle Chardonnay and couldn’t agree more about some of the recent developments in the region. In their defence however I should say that a lot of visitors to the region are not ‘wine buffs’ and the sense of grandeur provided by some cellar doors can add value to the region and help tourism. Those with a good palate and a little inside knowledge will always seek out the more understated and refined offerings in the region like Cape Mentelle.
    Cheers
    Mat Janes
    Cape Mentelle


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