The 2006 growing season started with an unseasonally cool November during flowering
causing a poor flowering set. This reduction transpired to lower bunch yields which focused
the energy on the vine into the development of intensely flavoured fruit. This was followed
by an extraordinary summer with the Hawkes Bay having a very early ripening period,
veraison being two weeks earlier than usual on April 13th.
The Merlot and Malbec grapes come from a single vineyard in the Dartmoor Valley. The soil
at the vineyard site is a mixture of free-draining gravels from the old riverbed, and
calcareous soils from the surrounding limestone hills and river terraces. The fruit coming
into the winery was clean and ripe, and most importantly, had excellent concentration of
aromatics and flavours.
The fruit underwent a cold maceration for a week in opentop fermenters with daily plunging
prior to fermentation.The juice arrived at the winery in late April, where the raw wine was
transferred to French oak barrels to be matured for nine months. Due to the gentle handling
of the wine no fining agents have been used to retain colour and character in the
The resulting wine displays fruit characters of sweet red berries and plums with leather and
roasted chestnut complexity integrating well with spicy French oak.
Serve with a wide range of pasta dishes, particularly any with a mushroom or tomato base.