Our Merlot is grown on a single vineyard which has produced fantastic wines vintage after vintage since being planted in 1998. The clay-rich soil on which the vineyard is established has a high gravel content which facilitates even drainage. The vineyard is a model of even ripening.
Beyond its inherent quality, we give this vineyard a great deal of attention and love, especially with respect to leaf-plucking, shoot combing, and cluster selection. These actions are done manually two to three times per year in order to expose the berries to the sun evenly and reduce herbaceous and under-ripe characters in the wine. Even ripening in the 2011 vintage assisted in this process, yielding a particularly stellar vintage.
This is where it gets tricky! Merlot is certainly not an easy wine to make. We strive for a balance between deep, luscious flavours and austere, elegant structure. This yields a wine which is ready to compete in the big leagues and breaks the traditional conception of Merlot as an also-ran. Fermented on the skins, the wine is gently pressed and left to 225 litre French oak barriques for 18 months. It is racked twice during this period, and ultimately bottled with minimal intervention. The result is a deep, clear colour with intense aromas of black cherry, dried plum, and spice. The palette is focused with lingering black fruit and caramel derived from oak contact. Enjoy confidently through 2021.