Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2018

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

Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, Hawke’s Bay.

Soils: Vigour moderating free-draining gravel.
Topography: Flat, even site with a gradual slope.
Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional characteristics and contribution to the 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 district of Hawke’s 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.

Grapes were de-stemmed into small stainless steel fermenters for a five-day cold soak to help maximise flavour and colour extraction. The juice was inoculated with specialised yeast to complete fermentation and then hand plunged and pumped over for gentle extraction of flavour colour and tannin. The young wine was kept in contact with skins and tasted daily until the right extraction and balance was achieved then gently pressed. Once settled it was then racked to 33 per cent new French oak and the remainder to seasoned French oak barrels where it underwent secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation). After ageing for 10 months on light lees the wine was blended, fined, balanced and carefully prepared for bottling.

Deep dark ruby core with a thin purple rim.

Aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry conserve and hints of new leather combined espresso coffee and a hint of spice.

Full-bodied and concentrated with layers of ripe blackberry, blueberry and dried autumn fruits. The palate is dense and rich with powdered cocoa-like structure and toasted oak on the finish with a hint of fresh coffee bean.

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

Wine analysis:
Alcohol 13.5% v/v, Acidity 5.6g/litre, pH 3.54

Food match:
Delicious with fillet steak and portobello mushrooms drizzled in rosemary and balsamic jus.

Vegetarian friendly

GOLD Medal - NZ International Wine Show 2019

93 POINTS - Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers 2020

SILVER MEDAL - Royal Easter Wine Show Awards 2020

SILVER MEDAL - NZ International Wine Show 2020

4.5 STARS - Winestate New Release New Zealand 2020