This wine is a blend from grapes grown on the stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels. The vines in the Cornerstone and nearby Ngakirikiri and Twyford Gravels vineyards were planted in 1990, 1992 and 2000 respectively and cropped at low levels to produce grapes of the highest possible quality. Intensive viticultural practices such as shoot, bunch thinning and leaf plucking were employed over the course of the growing season to further maximise the vineyards’ potential.
The individual vineyard parcels were harvested separately and destemmed to our original 1930s concrete fermenters for fermentation. Indigenous and selected red wine yeast strains were employed and once active the ferments were gently hand plunged four times daily. After a period of post fermentation maceration the ferments were pressed to barrel and tank for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for 16 months in French oak barriques (40% new) before blending, ageing in tank and bottling in October 2014.
This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand’s red wines. The 2013 vintage is deeply coloured with aromatics hinting at black fruits including cherries, spice and smoke. The flavours typical of Gimblett Gravels Merlot blends tend toward fruitcake, cherry, chocolate and oak spice. Dry, complex and long finishing, this is a fine vintage for this blend.
Cellaring is recommended but the wine can equally be enjoyed in its youth. Drink 2015 – 2025+.
Region: 100% Hawkes Bay
Varieties: Merlot 56%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Malbec 14%
Total acidity: 6.0gL
Maturation: 16 months in French oak barriques (40% new)
Residual sugar: < 1gL