Viticulture This Merlot was selected from our vineyard on Mere Road – part of the highly regarded Gimblett Gravels sub-region. This vineyard has a generous silty phase that produces wines with soft mouth filling tannins. Our viticulturist used precision viticulture techniques to target appropriate treatments for the different soil phases. These treatments included targeting crop loads and canopy management appropriate for the different vigour levels on the different soil phases. Extensive fruit thinning was applied to the vines prior to veraison. This ensured mature grapes. There were three picks at different periods over the 5 hectare block. Each timed to harvest the fruit at optimum maturity. The stoniest phase was harvested first at 22.5 Brix, the other phases picked later at 23 – 24 Brix.
Winemaking Fruit from the different harvest schedules was all fermented in dedicated fermenters The fermentations were managed with minimal pumpovers to avoid Over-extracting the grapes. When the fermentations were complete there followed a period of postfermentation maceration to develop the mouth feel of the young wines. After pressing the wines underwent MLF in tank before transfer to French oak barrels for maturation in 20% new French oak. After maturation for 12 months the wines were tasted then assembled with the addition of 10% of a very rich concentrated Gimblett Gravels Malbec.
Tasting Notes This is a rich and complex Hawke’s Bay Merlot single vineyard wine. The wine from the stony phase had particularly vibrant Merlot aromas and fine tannins. The heavier phases were richer and more concentrated. The oak is in balance and respects the wine’s structure and character. There is nice intensity on the front palate with very good tannins that are quite firm at bottling, but which will soften with time. The wine is harmonious, showing balance and softness; a result of dedication, care and passion in the vineyard and winery.
Cellar Potential This wine will develop well over 10 years or longer