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Estate Merlot Cabernet Franc

Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Vintages:

2016

Price: $58 per bottle

Winemaking

Fermented in stainless steel open-top fermenters, with indigenous and selected yeasts. Extended maceration for extraction. Punched down up to 4 times per day. Air pulses. Gentle basket pressing and transferred into French and American oak for 10 months maturation. 3 rackings during élevage. No fining.

Food pairing:

Platter of cured meat, Brown sugar mustard glazed ham, Wild pheasant in mushroom and wine sauce, Crostini with Ricotta and dark berries jam, Bloomy rind cheeses

Vintage report

Technical analysis:

Region: Waiheke Island
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Brix at harvest: 22-23
Alcohol: 13.5%
Residual Sugar: <1g/l
pH: 3.51
TA: 6.9g/l
Download technical sheet

2017

Price: $62 per bottle

Winemaking

The berries were gently split to increase the surface of skins in contact with the juice. Fermented in small stainless vessels, with indigenous and selected yeasts and bacteria, carefully controlling temperature and bouquet development. The wine was then macerated until the equilibrium was achieved and gently pressed. The elevage was brilliant in special French and American oak barrels for 10 months. The finished wine, bottled under screw cap, without fining to preserve all that purity while promising aging potential.

Food pairing:

Rosemary and thyme braised lamb shoulder, Beef rib in Bordelaise sauce, Veal chop with morel mushrooms, Platter of cured meat, Bloomy rind cheeses

Vintage report

An early spring with warmer than average temperatures brought us a very even bud burst and a solid start to the season. November to mid February was warm and dry with a distinct lack of the usual South westerly winds leading to a good fruit-set which was clearly visible by early December. January heralded veraison and some great early indications of things to come. The fruit was developing nicely with low acids and rich colour development. However, as we approached harvest the Northerly storms came in one after another bringing record rainfall and high humidity. This meant a lot more work for the vineyard team keeping canopies straight and the fruit quick drying in the intermittent sun that followed. Our multiple vineyard sites and a range of aspects, soil types and clones provided us with great potential. The steep northerly aspect of our Omiha blocks brought us some amazing batches of Merlot and Cabernets. Overall heat summation was well above our yearly average providing deep colour and rich tannin development in our Bordeaux varietals.

Technical analysis:

Region: Waiheke Island
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 13%
Residual Sugar: <1g/l
pH: 3.57
TA: 6.7g/l
Download technical sheet

2018

Price: $62 per bottle

Winemaking

The berries were gently split to increase the surface of the skins in contact with the juice. Fermented in small stainless vessels and concrete eggs, with indigenous and selected yeasts and bacteria, to carefully control temperature and bouquet development. The wine was then macerated until an equilibrium was achieved and then gently pressed. The élevage was brilliant in special French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The finished wine was bottled under screw cap.

Food pairing:

Braised Italian sausage stew with crusty bread and gremolata, Bagna Cauda with summer crudités, fresh pasta with mushrooms and romesco, green olive tapenade with crostini, cured meats and washed-rind cheeses.

Vintage report

A warm settled spring provided the backdrop for a very hot and dry summer, setting us up for another promising vintage. Twenty-four days over 30 degrees celsius during the growing season, and a maximum average temperature of 28.6 through December and January gave us the heat summation to advance ripening nicely. Veraison was very compressed, and passed through in around two weeks instead of the usual four. February brought rain, but due to the constant and meticulous work of our vineyard team the fruit was in great shape. Continuous rounds of canopy detailing kept the fruit hanging freely and quick drying. All of this work paid off as March brought drier conditions and harvest approached. Selectively picking when the fruit reached optimum condition and many small batch ferments allowed individual attention and precision in the winery. The resultant wines, like the vintage, are filled with tension and poise. Supple and long, they will age well and deliver an ever evolving experience over many years.

Technical analysis:

Region:: Waiheke Island
Grapes:: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol:: 13%
Residual Sugar:: <1g/l
pH:: 3.59
TA:: 6.5g/l
Download technical sheet
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