A warm and dry summer and autumn set up perfect conditions again with excellent fruit ripening conditions for the red grapes. Crop loads were controlled to 7 tonnes per hectare after some rigorous summer thinning to make sure fruit left to mature on the vines was fully mature at harvest. The Merlot component (20%) was sourced from our Mere Road block. The Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) was from a select Gimblett Gravels vineyard.
Fermentations were carried out traditionally with pumping over once per day. Towards the end of fermentation these were tailed back to avoid excessive extraction. The fermentations were long and slow and we allowed two weeks post maceration before pressing to tank for MLF. Hard pressings were excluded. The maturation was in French oak. Each variety was aged in separate batches and after the 12 months carefully blended after exhaustive tasting trials. The wine was aged in French oak barriques including a 25% new barrels.
This Cabernet Merlot has vibrant colour and classic rich dark berry and oak aromas of an attractive Hawke’s Bay red. There are hints of cassis, tobacco and plum on the nose. The palate has great structure with an abundance of fine ripe tannins. The wine in the mouth has full mid palate weight and texture with the oak component full blown, yet not dominating, allowing fruit to shine through on the finish. This is a very rich and concentrated wine.