Cape Mentelle Marmaduke Shiraz

Rob Mann quietly mentioned to me recently that he reckons 2011 to represent the finest reds he’s made in Margaret River yet. A monumental statement, considering the mesospheric standards he has set in 2008, 2009 and 2010. We’ll have to wait until next year for the full answer, but if Marmaduke is any indication, there are great things in store. The intricate craftsmanship on display in this wine is virtually unheard of at this price. At a cool 13.5%, it’s refreshingly medium-bodied, charged with energetic, impressively poised acidity and a textural undercurrent of finely ground, gravelly tannins. An enticing violet perfume wafts over restrained black cherry, plum skin and pepper notes. $13 at Amatos.