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Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon


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 has been unavailable in the UK. Once we tasted it, we couldn't resist buying 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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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 degraded granite gravels that are some of the oldest in the world. The Cabernet grapes for this wine are hand harvested from a small patch of 40 year-old vines. The particular clone of Cabernet Sauvignon is an original Houghton clone selected by Jack Mann.

Vintage information

The south west of Western Australia experienced near average winter rainfall, with widespread rainfall in June followed by a near average July and a dry August. Average rainfall for spring combined with warmer than normal conditions resulted in fruit development being slightly ahead of normal. Warm summer conditions were interspersed with short bursts of heat, resulting in ripe fruit flavours and ripe fine grain tannins.


The grapes were hand-harvested, hand sorted, crushed and then fermented in small open top fermenters. The individual ferments were conducted with indigenous yeast which contributes to the complexity and texture of the wine. Following eighteen months' maturation in new and one-year-old French oak barriques the wines were assessed, blended, fined and bottled with minimal filtration.

Tasting Notes

The wine is opaque, showing a deep purple-red core with a bright, scarlet hue. The bouquet displays intense aromatics of dark bramble fruits, blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate with a subtle overlay 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 firm, fine grained tannin is beautifully integrated with the fruit and oak.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 96% Cabernet Sauvignon