Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay2013
5 stars (97 points)
This distinguished Cabernet Merlot is made from ultra-premium grapes (79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc) grown on low-yielding vines in our Mere Road Vineyard, situated in the celebrated stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels district in Hawkes Bay.
The Cabernet Sauvignon was handpicked on April 27th, Merlot on April 3rdh and Cabernet Franc on 4 April at an average Brix of 23.4. The grapes were destemmed, retaining whole berries, before transferring to open top fermenters as separate parcels for cold-soaking.
After a two day cold soak, selected yeasts were inoculated to initiate fermentation, and the resultant cap was plunged twice daily. A post-ferment maceration regime over 16 days optimised the tannin structure prior to pressing off skins. The wine was then transferred to quality French (78%) American (22%) oak barrels (40% new wood) for 16 months aging. The wine was judiciously blended, lightly fined with egg white and pad filtered prior to bottling on 13 November 2013 under Stelvin screwcap.This superior wine is medium to full bodied, bursting with notes of black fruit, plum, chocolate, and cedar, on a bed of lovely refined tannins, yielding a distinguished silky smooth wine.