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Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2015

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark


Full bodied with ripe black Doris plum, blackberries and a silky spiced chocolate texture.


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 all contribute to small berries which give this wine concentration, 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 this low cropping Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


The fruit was held cold for four days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. It was then inoculated to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily and pumped over the skins to help with extraction. When dry the young wine was pressed and then racked off gross lees to 50 per cent new French oak barrels and 50 per cent older French oak barrels. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 11months. It was then gently extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Very dense ruby core with thin purple highlights


Dense aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, new leather, plum and espresso coffee, with a hint of spice.


Rich, full bodied and concentrated. Loaded with layers of ripe dark berries, damson plums, and dark chocolate. The texture is silky smooth with subtle flavours of new leather, cigar box and heated spices followed with a long savoury finish.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a minimum of five years from vintage.


Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.6g/litre, pH: 3.53.

Food Match:

Delicious with lightly spiced exotic dishes.



  • Gold, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017
  • Gold, New Zealand International Wine Show 2017
  • Gold, Mondial du Merlot 2017
  • Gold, Mondial du Merlot 2016
  • Blue Gold, Sydney International Wine Competition 2018