2006 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Margaret River

($16) Light straw. Bright citrus zest and pear on the nose, with a light suggestion of mint. Clean and fresh, with vibrant orchard fruit and melon flavors braced by juicy acidity. Finishes tangy and impressively long.


2005 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay Margaret River

($26) Green-gold. Spicy pear, melon and mint aromas, with subtle suggestions of butter, lees and grain. Plump but juicy, with energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a slow-mounting floral honey quality. Very nicely balanced between dry tones and riper melon and pit fruits, with excellent snap on the finish. An impressively precise style that offers elegance and sap.


2004 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay Margaret River

($26) Light yellow. Honeyed apple and smoked meat scents, with buttery brioche and tarragon accents. Medium in weight, lush and broad, with ripe apple and pear flavors, soft acidity and good finishing sweetness. This is ready to drink.


2004 Cape Mentelle Cabernet/Merlot Margaret River

($19; a 60/40 blend) Ruby-red. Pungent, herb-accented red berries and cherry on the nose, plus complicating anise, cracked pepper and rose notes. Elegant and light in body, with excellent precision and mouthwatering acidity bracing the fresh redcurrant and cherry flavors. Clean and nervy on the finish, which displays impressive sappiness. You could spend twice as much, or more, on a Bordeaux and not get the balance and purity of fruit offered here.


2004 Cape Mentelle Shiraz Margaret River

($24) Ruby-red. Dark berry and plum aromas are complicated by tobacco, espresso and black tea. Ripe but energetic, with fresh blackberry and candied plum flavors complicated by muskier cured tobacco and floral pastille. Tannins are supple but add shape to this appealingly sweet midweight. Finishes clean and bright, with an impressively persistent blackberry tone. This would benefit from an hour of aeration if you're drinking it any time soon.


2001 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River

($45) Medium red. Smoky red- and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by cigar box, tobacco, licorice and musky underbrush. A chewy midweight with alluring cherry and dark berry flavors underscored by smoky herb notes. Fleshes out on the finish, picking up subtle vanilla and plum qualities that carry through the finish. I'd opt for giving this a few more years in the bottle. (Moet Hennessy USA, New York, NY)

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