Cabernet Merlot

Mills Reef

Elspeth

Cabernet Merlot

Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

2011
Winemakers: Tim Preston and Paul Dawick
Alcohol: 13.5%
AWARDS
Sam Kim 2013 Sam Kim 2013
94 points
Tasting Note

This distinguished Cabernet Merlot is made from ultra-premium grapes (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot) grown on low-yielding vines in our Mere Road Vineyard, situated in the renowned stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels district within Hawkes Bay. The Cabernet Sauvignon was handpicked on April 25th and Merlot on April 14th at an average Brix of 22.4.

The grapes were destemmed, retaining whole berries, before transferring to open top fermenters as separate parcels for cold-soaking. After six days, selected yeasts were inoculated to initiate fermentation, and the resultant cap was plunged twice daily. A long post-ferment maceration regime over 27 days optimised the tannin structure prior to pressing off skins. The wine was then transferred to quality French oak barrels (80% new wood) for 15 months aging. The wine was judiciously blended, lightly fined with egg white and pad filtered prior to bottling on 12th October 2012 under Stelvin screwcap.

This superior Cabernet Merlot bursts with a medley of brambly black fruit flavours and aromas. Aging in fine french oak confers spice, leather and dark chocolate complexity, yielding a rich and opulent wine.

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