Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2015

Full bodied with ripe black Doris plum, wild blackberries and a silky spiced chocolate texture.

Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, Hawke’s Bay.

Soils: Vigour moderating free draining gravel.
Topography: Flat, even site with a gradual slope.
Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional characteristics and contribution to uniqueness of flavours:
Warm days and cooler nights with gravel-rich vigour-moderating soils all contribute to small berries which give this wine concentration, perfume and deep rich colour.

This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area of Hawkes Bay. The vigour moderating, free-draining gravel provides a superb base for this low cropping Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.

The fruit was held cold for four days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. It was then inoculated to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily and pumped over the skins to help with extraction. When dry the young wine was pressed and then racked off gross lees to 50 per cent new French oak barrels and 50 per cent older French oak barrels. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 11months. It was then gently extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.

Very dense ruby core with thin purple highlights in the rim.

Dense aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, new leather, plum and espresso coffee, with a hint of spice.

Rich, full-bodied and concentrated. Loaded with layers of ripe dark berries, damson plums, and dark chocolate. The texture is silky smooth with subtle flavours of new leather, cigar box and heated spices followed with a long savoury finish.

Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a minimum of five years from the vintage date.

Wine analysis:
Alcohol 13.5% v/v, Acidity 5.6g/litre, pH 3.53

Food match:
Delicious with lightly spiced exotic dishes.

BLUE GOLD Medal - Sydney International Wine Competition 2018

GOLD Medal - Mondial du Merlot 2017 and 2016

GOLD Medal - NZ International Wine Show 2017

GOLD Medal - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Wine Merchant Top 100 2018