Mitolo - Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale
Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale
“Serpico” was a famous New York police officer who wasn’t afraid to ‘work against the grain’. With Serpico, Mitolo aims to step outside its peers and redefine the accepted style of Cabernet making.
Serpico is a 100% Cabernet made in the Amarone method to achieve intense aromas, concentrated viscous middle palate with soft and silky tannins. The Cabernet is grown on Mitolo’s own McLaren Vale vineyard, where the soils are black Biscay cracking clay. The grapes are handpicked at 12.5 baumé onto 10kg drying racks, and left to dry for 8 weeks. The fruit is then crushed and fermented on skins for 2 weeks and macerated for a further 3 weeks. Following a gentle basket pressing, the wine is matured for 10 months in new French oak.
Rainfall in late December and late January topped up soil moisture to retain canopy health. Mid-January the temperatures in McLaren Vale were in the cool temperatures range most days and these mild conditions persisted into the start of March. Cool and dry conditions during berry ripening were conducive to excellent flavor, color and phenolic development. Vintage started in the first week of February, slightly earlier than average, with much of the premium fruit of the vine with high natural acid due to the cool early summer and healthy canopies. The heat wave, which saw a record run of 15 days, interrupted perfect vintage conditions in McLaren Vale, causing the most condensed harvest in the region’s history. While there were challenges with the sudden ripening, overall 2008 will be a great year for quality.
The grapes were left to dry on the 10kg drying racks for 5 weeks and 2 days in the traditional Amarone manner resulting in 30% bunch weight loss. The wine was fermented on skins for 2 weeks and left to macerate for a further 3 weeks prior to pressing. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred and aged for 10 months in 80% new French oak and 20% French coopered American oak barrels.
An opaque dark red with youthful purple hues, the 2008 Serpico has a very diverse aromatic spectrum; cut black plums intermingle with leather and herbal spice. The tannin structure is smooth, finishing with rewarding tightness. Flavors of anise, blackcurrant and roasted coffee bean prevail.
"The 2008 Serpico was made in the Amarone method from grapes picked at around 12.5% and semi-dried slowly, finishing at around 15% alcohol. In 2008 it managed to side-skirt the heat as it was picked early. It was matured for 9 months in 100% new barriques, 90% French. Very deep garnet-purple colored, it gives pronounced notes of creme de cassis, Christmas cake, plum pudding, anise, cassia and nutmeg. The rich, full-bodied flavors are very spicy on the palate, off-set by crisp acid and medium-firm fine tannins, finishing with persistent, somewhat savory flavors of mincemeat and marmite toast. Drink this one 2013 to 2022+." 94 Points Wine Advocate
Vintage 2007 was dominated by very low rainfall- approximately half the average of the previous recorded growing seasons. The extreme growing conditions resulted in a harvest that saw crop loads 45-50% below the average due to lighter bunches, resulting from drought conditions.
Harvest was the earliest on record with some varieties being picked mid to late January due to accelerated ripening as a result of small, low weight bunches. All red varieties were down substantially in yield due to smaller berry size, however quality across the board at Mitolo was very good to exceptional.The wine is a vibrant purple color, with a fragrant nose of blackcurrant, cassis and mulberry aromas. The palate has opulent red and blackberry fruits with peppery, tarry notes with dustings of dry spice and meaty complexity. The texture is lush yet complex, with savory tannins and compelling richness. Plenty of power is evident, yet it is restrained.
"Dense garnet hue. Complex flavors of black cherry, wintergreen and menthol with a whiff of oak. Vibrant acidity and juicy flavors of raspberry and cassis. Hints of leather and sweet tobacco in the lingering close." 93 Points Wine News