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Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Cabernet Merlot 2015

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson, Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson


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


Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels winegrowing region, Hawkes Bay.


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.


The 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 78 per cent Cabernet and 22 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 55 per cent new French oak 45 per cent older French oak. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 11 months. It was then gently extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Dense ruby core with a purple highlighted rim.


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


A full palate showing concentrated ripe dark fruits interlaced with highlights of ripe raspberry, 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: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.6g/litre, pH: 3.59.

Food Match:

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


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