“An exceptionally elegant, powder-fine Cabernet, part of the new Margaret River breed. A massive, resounding, YES.”
That was how Erin Larkin of Halliday Wine Companion heralded the second coming of this wine.
The 2019 had followed a debut that met with monumental, joyous fanfare. “Beautiful wine. Succulent, seamless, flowing,” said Mike Bennie of the ’18. “Beautiful expression of Cabernet here,” gushed Gary Walsh. “Beautifully balanced, precise and poised,” crowed The Real Review. So, the scene is set for number three: the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon from Rob and Gen Mann of Corymbia.
“This was the year you wanted a dry-grown, coastal vineyard in Margaret River exclusively planted to Cabernet,” the Manns say of the season, which was the warmest vintage on record. Their vineyard’s situation, within sight of the rolling breakers and cooling salt spray of Redgate Beach was key to buffering the season’s impact. “If you look closely at our label between 11 & 12 o’clock, this is how hot December was, with all days way above average for maximum temperature,” says Gen. So, she and Rob gratefully cocooned themselves from Covid-19, avoided bushfires and smoke, got a great tan and let a great wine grow.
“We think the result is a remarkable wine from a remarkable year,” she says. “We hope you love it as much as we do.”The release of this wine happily coincides with the vintage roll onto the 2020 Corymbia Chenin Blanc from Rocket’s Vineyard in the Swan Valley, another triumph of Chenin’s uncanny resilience and freshness in a place the grape’s happy to call home. And to round out this offer we have what Gary Walsh calls the “distinctive and wonderfully regional” red blend from 2019. This brings together dry-grown organically farmed Swan Valley Tempranillo and Malbec in what Erin Larkin calls “an amalgam of emotion and sensation”.
This wine is the realisation of a dream seeded by Rob’s grandfather, Jack Mann, a departure from the orthodox, to achieve a unique expression of Margaret River Cabernet. Variety, place and experience are woven together to redefine what’s possible.
The third release from our dry-grown, organically farmed Calgardup Vineyard. Located just 2 km inland from the famous Redgate Beach in Margaret River. The fruit was harvested by hand in late March, a little earlier than the typical mid-April harvest dates we’re used to. The fruit was berry-sorted prior to natural, whole-berry fermentation in a single French oak vat. Maturation followed in very old demi-muids and barriques for 14 months.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon (126 clone planted in 2002) from the Calgardup vineyard in Redgate, Margaret River. Planting density is 1785 vines per hectare on Keenan gravelly loam. The fruit was picked on 23rd and 26th March 2020. Alcohol 13.8%; pH 3.62; total acidity 4.87g/L. Bottled 28th May 2021
We love wines with spine and structure that comes from the grape and not from an oak tree grown on the other side of the world. No fancy winemaking or oak influence, just a relentless pursuit of perfection in the vineyard. This wine tastes of the grape, the dirt and the season without pretention, which is exactly what we want. Pomegranate, wild blackberries, violets and salted licorice characters are complemented by a palate of great energy and drive. It’s all framed by the vineyard’s typical graphite-like structure. Very satisfying. – Rob & Gen Mann
Distinctly saline smelling wine. I’m thinking iodine and seaweed and Dutch liquorice, along with blackberry and boysenberry, with some cumin and green cardamom spice. Medium-bodied, dense and tightly packed gravelly tannin, slight tamarind quality lends some tang, dried black olive, maritime feel a plenty, avast ye matey! A gummy chew to the long finish, and more towards redcurrant flavour in the aftertaste. Tension and structure. Quite different, but so very good.95 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Well, we made a cool wine, from one of the hottest and driest vintages, from one of Australia’s hottest wine regions. Pretty snazzy eh? Combine this with being dry grown, it gives us confidence our little region has a few more miles under the bonnet for the bumpy road of climate change ahead.
100% Chenin Blanc grown on Rocket’s Vineyard in Upper Swan. Soils are Houghton loam and the clones are Noack massale selection. The vines are planted at a density of 1540 vines per hectare. The grapes were picked on 16th and 22nd January 2020. Bottled on 11th November 2020 Alcohol 13%; RS 0.8g/L; pH 3.32; total Acidity 5.78g/L.
The grapes were harvested by hand and whole bunch-pressed prior to natural fermentation. A portion was fermented and matured in seasoned French oak barriques for seven months prior to blending and bottling.
The wine smells of lemon pith and nashi pear with a lick of carbide. The palate is lively with a briny spine, great clarity and stacks of flavour. – Rob and Gen Mann
Preserved lemon, lemon barley, pear and spice. Tight, juicy, pear skin and lemon peel, bright acidity, powdery with a talc-like perfume, saline and fresh, with a dusty chalky finish of fine length. Hot climate wine, from a hot vintage, laying it on cool. Excellent. So excellent. This is a banger.93+ points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
62% Tempranillo and 38% Malbec grown on the Herne Hill loam of Rocket’s Vineyard in the Upper Swan. The fruit is dry grown and organically farmed on this site named after the late, great Tony “Rocket” Mann – Rob’s father and former Australian Test Cricketer. Tony and his son Rob first planted the vineyard together on their family property more than 35 years ago on what was an old currant vineyard.
The grapes for this 2019 were hand harvested together, individually berry sorted prior to carbonic maceration and natural fermentation in a single French oak vat. Maturation followed in the same French oak vat for 10 months.
The wine expresses the qualities of the Swan Valley that Rob’s family has admired of the region for over 100 years. The aim is to make a wine true to its site that captures the warmth and richness of the valley and affords great drinkability. It’s vibrant and penetrating with a beautifully perfumed aroma of crunchy pomegranate, mulberry and summer pudding. The inky palate has texture and verve framed by lip-smacking, saturated tannins. It tastes of maraschino cherries, blueberries and salted liquorice with precise ripeness and a near perfect balance of density and freshness.
Both varieties harvested together, hand sorted, wild-yeast fermented followed by 10 months in seasoned oak. Tony ‘Rocket’ Mann (Australian Test Cricketer, among other things) was Rob’s dad, and this vineyard is outside the family home in Upper Swan. ‘Engaging’ is an understatement. This is classically structured with dense, chewy tannins that ensconce the ripe and frankly seductive fruit in a blanket of texture. The wine is earthy, layered, glossy and succulent – what an amalgam of emotion and sensation. Yes.95 points. Erin Larkin, Halliday Wine Companion
Ripe raspberry, blueberry, liquorice, spicy biscuits and some pretty floral notes. It’s dense and chewy in tannin with a ferrous feel to it, deep and rolling, but still fresh with a bright raspberry/pomegranate tang, and some distinctly umami/seaweed flavours in the mix. Finish is long and savoury, with a slick of crushed rock tannin to close. Distinctive and wonderfully regional. Excellent.94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front