Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon

Houghton

Jack Mann is a legendary name in the Australian wine industry. He was...

the winemaker at Houghton in Western Australia for 51 straight vintages, creating their 'White Burgundy' as one of Australia's best known and most age-worthy wines in an era when the country was better known for fortified wines and big reds. For some people, it will be equally noteworthy that his son, Tony, played four cricket Test matches for Australia. The best Cabernet produced each year by Houghton is selected for the Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon. It is one of Australia's best Cabernets, yet had been unavailable in the UK in 2015 when we bought a small parcel. Older vintages are on the list at the Victory pub in McLaren Vale, so a great deal of research has been done to ensure the wine ages well. It does.

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Vineyards

Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon is a single vineyard wine from the Justin Vineyard in the Frankland River region of Western Australia. This region is characterised by cool winters, warm summer days and cool summer nights. The soils at Frankland River are ancient degraded granitic gravels that are some of the oldest in the world. The Cabernet grapes for this wine are hand harvested from a small patch of vines planted in 1971. The particular clone of Cabernet Sauvignon was originally selected from the Houghton property by Jack Mann.

Vintage Information

The 2014 was a strong vintage for the Great Southern region. Good spring rainfall in 2013 followed by an extended warm and dry summer meant that flavour accumulation in the berries was gradual while adequate water reserves ensured that the fruit retained freshness and enabled the grapes to be harvested in optimum condition.

Vinification

The grapes were hand harvested and hand sorted before being de-stemmed into small, open-top fermenters. The individual ferments were conducted with indigenous yeast which contributed to the complexity and texture of the wine. Following routine hand plunging, the ferments were pressed off at dryness and transferred to oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured for 18 months in French oak barriques. Each year, the winemakers assess each barrel and explore options to see if the overall blend can be improved with the addition of Shiraz or Malbec fruit from the same vineyard. This year, Malbec was 5% of the blend, which provides even further balance to the finished wine.

Tasting Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque in colour, showing a deep purple-red core with a bright, scarlet hue. The nose displays intense aromatics of dark bramble fruits, dark plum, liquorice and dark chocolate with a subtle overtone of dried tobacco leaf, vanilla, wild mint and cedar oak. The palate is full-flavoured with rich and sumptuous layers resulting in a wine with intensity, power and elegance. The dense, firm, fine grained tannin is beautifully integrated with the fruit and oak.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 95% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Malbec
Winemaker Ross Pamment
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 6.77g/l
Wine pH 3.42