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.