Grapes were de-stemmed into small stainless steel fermenters for a five-day cold soak to help maximise flavour and colour extraction. When fermentation commenced the wine was hand plunged and occasionally pumped over to gently extract flavour, colour and tannin. Following primary fermentation the young wine was kept in contact with skins and tasted daily until the right extraction and balance was achieved. Once pressed and settled the wine was then racked to seasoned French oak where it underwent secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation). When the right balance was achieved after ageing on light lees the wine was fined, balanced and carefully prepared for bottling.
The outstanding fruit was sourced from certain selected vineyards on the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district in Hawke’s Bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel based soils provide a superb base for the low cropping Merlot. These vineyard sites have ideal ripening conditions for achieving the ripe berry aromatics and balanced tannin structure that Saint Clair Merlot exhibits. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.
Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.4g/L, pH: 3.60.
Well matched with red meat dishes such as fillet steak and seasonal vegetables