Merlot Cabernet 2018
Hawke’s Bay 

Powerful, restrained and elegant, this blend exhibits lifted aromatics and berry fruits, revealing layers of complexity that will slowly unfold. Highly structured with balanced acidity and tannin, this wine will continue to evolve for the next decade.

Merlot Cabernet 2018

$85.00 NZD
Vintage Conditions

The 2018 vintage began with a welcome frost-free spring, followed by a warm, dry Hawke’s Bay summer with above average temperature. March saw moderate rainfall and high humidity. Settled weather from early April resulted in a warm, dry finish to vintage.


Parcels of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were hand-picked from selected sites on the gravel soils of the old Ngaruroro River, and old vine Merlot from the Bridge Pa region. Bridge Pa Triangle soils feature fine silt loam over red metal gravels, while the gravel sites protected by Roys Hill, feature gravel over fine silt. These sites are free draining and low in fertility, resulting in struggling vines producing fruit of great concentration. Low yielding vines, open canopy management, managed irrigation and Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand farmed were common to all sites. Bridge Pa Merlot delivers ripe, dark plums which compliments the spicy brighter fruits from the gravels. Cabernet thrives on gravel sites and contributes structure, acidity, and fragrant berry fruit notes.


Batches of hand harvested fruit was chilled overnight before processing the following day. Chilled bunches were hand sorted and de-stemmed, and whole berries were transferred to open fermenters with some foot stomping. Whole bunches were also incorporated in some of the Merlot fermenters. The berries were cold soaked before fermentation, with pumping over twice per day then pressed to barriques at the end of fermentation. The Merlot and Cabernet matured for 21 months in new and seasoned French oak barriques. Blended in December 2019 and bottled in January 2020, the final blend is approximately 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Note

An elegant Merlot Cabernet blend which exhibits lifted aromatics of fragrant berry fruits, sweet French oak, and underlying lavender and thyme. Complex and textural, seamless tannins harmoniously support red and black fruits, earthiness, and spice.

Tautly poised to develop beautifully with bottle age.

Alcohol: 13.5% Total acidity: 5.8 g/l