Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon
Hawke’s Bay 2015

Region:Hawke’s Bay (Heretaunga)
Varietal:76% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc

Silverton Estate - Tutaekuri River, Puketapu District
Highway 50 Vineyard - Ngarororo River, Highway 50 District
Shepherd’s Croft - Ngarororo River, Bridge Pa District


All parcels vinified using an adapted Burgundian approach: small parcels of fruit, pre-ferment soak on skins and wild yeast fermentation. Malo-lactic fermentation in barrel. Aging in tight grain Burgundy barrels - 228L, 300L, 350L. 25% new, 25% one year, 50% two to four years old. 15 months maturation with one racking prior to Vintage 16. Bottled un-fined and un-filtered.

Colour:Deep red with purple hues.
Bouquet:Black Doris plums, cassis and Christmas cake spice. Some underlying umami notes of seaweed and toasted barrel nuance.
Palate:Broad and rich dark fruit flavours with a finely structured front palate phenolic profile.
Production:1000 x 6pk cases (50% Stelvin Lux closure, 50% Cork).
Cellaring:7-10 years
Technical notes:pH 3.52 | Acidity 5.93 g/L |Sugar < 2.0 g/L | Alcohol 14.0% v/v
Serve:At room temperature with braised or casseroled beef or Mediterranean lamb.

Tasting Notes

Download the tasting notes pdf - this vintage

Reviews - This vintage

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

18.0/20, 4 stars
Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the edge.  The nose is well-proportioned and tightly bound with a concentrated core of black berried fruit along with dark plums, blackcurrants and cassis liqueur.  Fresh primary herbal detail and nuances of iron-earth and minerals lend freshness and a degree of complexity to the aromatics.  Medium-full bodied and elegant in presentation, this has a tightly bound core with sweetly ripe blackberry fruit with black plums, blackcurrants and cassis.  The fruit has depth and intensity, and is supported by very fine-grained tannin extraction, providing plenty of structure and grip to the mouthfeel.  The wine has good drive and linearity, unfolding nuances of dark herbs, iron-earth minerality as it carries to a concentrated, lingering finish.  This is a tightly bound and concentrated Merlot blend with black fruits and plenty of fine-grained structure and line.  Match with roast lamb, beef and venison over the next 7-9 years.  A blend of 76% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Silverton Estate’, Puketapu, ‘Highway 50’ vineyard and ‘Shepherd’s Croft’ Bridge Pa sites, given a pre-ferment soak and indigenous yeast fermentation in 228 L to 350 L barrels to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 25% new oak.  500 dozen made. 

Wine Orbit

95/100, 5 stars
Wonderfully fragrant and inviting, the bouquet shows cassis, dark plum, blueberry and floral with nuances of mixed spice and game. It is beautifully weighted, and delivers excellent mid palate focus and texture, backed by fine, grainy tannins. The wine flows seamlessly, despite its youth, and promises to evolve gracefully. A blend of merlot (76%), cabernet sauvignon (14%) and cabernet franc (10%). At its best: 2017 to 2025.