Saint Clair Premium Merlot 2016

Flavours of blackberries, new leather and toasty oak.

Matt Thomson, Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson

Dense ruby red core with a thin purple rim.

Ripe blackberries, new leather and toasted oak.

A mixture of dark fruit flavours with black plum and liquorice showing a powdered structure reminiscent of fine dark chocolate leading to a lightly spiced and toasty finish.

Ageing potential:
This wine is drinking well now and will continue to develop for up to five years from vintage date.

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.

Wine Analysis:
Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.4g/L, pH: 3.60.

Food match:
Well matched with red meat dishes such as fillet steak and seasonal vegetables