Hawkes Bay had a cold spring which affected bud burst.
This was followed by a fairly wet start to summer, but
careful crop management ensured optimal fruit was
available for ripening over late February. The end of
summer and harvest was dry and ensured good fruit
ripeness on a small yield.
The grapes are from two separate vineyards, the Merlot
from the Gimblett Gravels and the Malbec from the
Ngatarawa Triangle. The soil at the vineyard sites 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
twelve months. Due to the gentle handling of the wine no
fining agents have been used to retain colour and
character in the finished wine.
Spiced cloves and nutmeg feature on the nose. Ripe
peachy plum and blackberry on the palate with a violet and
a long toasty oak finish.
Serve with a wide range of pasta dishes, particularly any
with a mushroom or tomato base.