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Wine Details
Gordon Russell - Senior Winemaker - examining a small amount of red wine in a glass pulled from the barrel, to check the progress of the wine ageing in the dark cellar

Winemakers Reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 2014

Hawkes Bay
  • 75cl bottle

This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand’s red wines. The 2014 vintage is deeply coloured with aromatics hinting at black fruits including cherries and blackberries, with hints of cedar and smoke. The flavours, typical of Gimblett Gravels Merlot blends tend toward fruitcake, cherry, chocolate and oak spice. The palate is soft and mouthfilling showcasing the high percentage of Merlot and finishes dry and long. This is a fine vintage for this blend.


This wine is a blend from grapes grown on the stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels. The vines in the Ngakirikiri, Twyford and Omahu Gravels vineyards are now approaching 20 years of age and cropped at low levels to produce grapes of the highest possible quality. Intensive viticultural practices such as shoot and bunch thinning and leaf plucking were employed over the course of the growing season to further maximise the vineyards' potential.


Excellent weather conditions from late March through to April meant that the grapes achieved physiological ripeness and were picked at the optimum time. Dry conditions and cool nights throughout harvest resulted in low yielding crops showing great concentration and freshness.


The individual vineyard parcels were harvested separately and destemmed to our 1930’s open topped concrete fermenters for fermentation. Indigenous and selected red wine yeast strains were employed and once active the ferments were gently hand plunged up to four times daily. After a period of post fermentation maceration the ferments were pressed to barrel and tank for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for 18 months in French oak barriques (40% new) before bottling.

Enjoy with:

  • Grilled and Roasted Red Meats
  • Pizza/Pasta
  • Casseroles/Stews
  • Mature Strong Cheeses
Enjoy with red meat and game dishes.