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Other Vintages: 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Cabernet Merlot 2014

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson, Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson


A silky smooth texture and rich elegant structure displays densely concentrated flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant, new leather and spice.


Soils: Vigour moderating free draining gravel.

Topography: Flat, even site with a gradual slope.

Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

Warm days and cooler nights with gravel rich vigour-moderating soils contribute to small berries which give this wine concentrated flavours, perfume and a deep rich colour.


This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area of Hawkes Bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for growing Cabernet and Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the structure and full aromatic profile that Cabernet and Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


This wine is a blend of 72 per cent Cabernet and 28 per cent Merlot. Each variety was kept separate during fermentation through to the time of blending. The fruit was held cold for four days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and enhance colour stability. Inoculation took place to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily. When dry the young wine was pressed and then racked off gross lees to 50 per cent new American oak 43 per cent older American oak. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 12 months. It was then gently extracted from oak, trialled (to get the correct proportions for the blend), then blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Dense ruby core with a purple highlighted rim.


Perfumed with fresh blackberry, blackcurrant, dark chocolate, warmed spice, and a touch of new leather.


A full palate showing concentrated ripe dark fruits interlaced with highlights of blackcurrants, and freshly picked blackberries. A silky smooth texture is perfectly balanced with subtle nuances of leather, liquorice and spice. The finish is clean, perfumed and lingering.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a minimum of eight years from vintage but with careful cellaring will continue to develop and please.


Alcohol: 13%, Titratable Acidity: 5.8g/litre, pH: 3.58.

Food Match:

A perfect accompaniment for a roast rack or leg of lamb.



  • Gold, New Zealand International Wine Awards 2016
  • Gold, Hawke's Bay Wine Awards 2015
  • Pure Silver, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2016