Settled weather in North Canterbury during December provided optimal conditions for flowering. A very hot summer then enabled the grapes to ripen beautifully. Our free draining stony soil helped mitigate the effects of some late summer rain, and the ensuing dry autumn meant the fruit was able to be picked in excellent condition.
THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
This wine is made in the same style as the celebrated Claret from Bordeaux, using traditional methods. After being picked in April, the grapes began fermentation naturally in stainless steel tanks. During this process the juice was regularly drained and sprayed back over the cap of floating grape skins (rather than plunging), to ensure a perfect tannin balance was extracted from the fruit. The wine was then gently pressed off and put into French oak barriques (10% new). The following summer, when the weather warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing in oak for 18 months, the various batches were then carefully blended in varying portions to produce the most complex and balanced wine possible. The finished product is a blend of approximately 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec.
Its colour is deep ruby, with tantalising dark fruit aromas of blackberry, cherry and plum. Intertwined with this are hints of chocolate, liquorice and vanilla, along with savoury notes of wood smoke and spice. The mouthfeel is silky and succulent, with ripe tannins that provide balance and structure. A long hot summer has delivered a beautifully crafted, harmonious wine, displaying both power and finesse.