Winemaker Brett Smith selects the 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon for January Wine of the Month
There is a real post vintage buzz around the Barossa Valley with winemakers throughout the district especially excited over the quality of the later ripening red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.
2017 was a cracking Cabernet vintage. It will be remembered as a particularly mild growing season, allowing very slow ripening and the development of mature Cabernet flavours reminiscent of licorice, tobacco and violets and the texture and acidity to make very cellar worthy red wines.
It was a vintage with many quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines contending for a role in our Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon, where only the finest parcels were included.
The 2017 vintage released our 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon. Another outstanding red wine vintage that was very mild throughout, with predominantly cool nights, which allowed our best Cabernet vineyards to ripen slowly and produce wines with great complexity, elegance and longevity.
The 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon is without doubt one of the best of the last decade and was lauded by Andrew Wigan, inaugural Chief Winemaker, as one of the best Cabernet vintages of his distinguished time at Peter Lehmann Wines.
Like Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, Barossa Cabernet is often overshadowed by Barossa Shiraz but is undeniably a star in its own right. When the ideal conditions prevail (or Michael Jordan retires) these second fiddles get their time to shine and 2012 was certainly time for our Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although drinking beautifully now this is a wine that will be an absolute belter to open in another decade.