Merlot Cabernet 2020 Hawke’s Bay 

Ripe, full, rich and lifted by very fine French oak and powdery tannins.

Merlot Cabernet 2020

$85.00 NZD
Vintage Conditions

The 2019 -20 growing season, whilst slightly cooler than the previous four seasons, was still above the long term average. A warm spring with above average temperatures and rainfall was accompanied by some frost and hail in parts of Hawkes Bay. Conditions for flowering in November were drier and warmer than usual. Summer was also warm and dry which lead to an early start to vintage and an Indian autumn followed. Glorious conditions for grape growing, intense fruit flavours and clean sound fruit.


Three vineyards from the Bridge Pa Triangle and the Gimblett Gravels were the source of the fruit for this Merlot Cabernet blend. The sites have in common, low yields, old vines, open canopy management, managed irrigation and Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand accreditation. These free draining sites ripen Merlot first and then Cabernet, producing balanced acidity and weight of fruit which is impressive. A combination of rich, berry fruits from Bridge Pa Merlot and spicy Gimblett Gravels Merlot, produce a complex range of primary fruit. Cabernet has strength, structure and blackcurrant notes which provide perfect synergy.


Hand picked fruit is chilled overnight followed by early morning hand sorting, de-stemming and collecting whole berries for the open fermenters. Some foot stomping across ferments provides lovely release of fresh juice great for cold soaking. Some whole bunches incorporated with the Merlot parcels, accentuating fresh, lifted fruits. As ambient temperature is reached from cold soaking, the indigenous yeast initiate fermentation. We pump over twice a day at cool temperatures, capturing gentle tannin extraction and floral fruit notes. Cultured yeast complete the fermentation to dryness, which is followed by pressing and transfer to new and 1 year old French oak barriques. Approximately 20 months barrel maturation with regular racking completes the process. Blended in December 2021 and bottled January 2022, the blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Note

The strength and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon is readily apparent. Black currant and cassis are complimented with the plushness and generosity of Merlot. Ripe, full, rich and slightly brooding, and lifted by very fine French oak and powdery tannins. Lovey lavender and floral highs, are understated and beautiful, providing restraint and elegance which make this powerful wine intriguing.

Cellaring will add complexity and depth.

Alcohol: 13.5% Total acidity: 6.5 g/l