Sourced primarily from estate grown Merlot grapes at our Corbishley Vineyard, harvest dates were at the end of October based on flavour and tannin ripeness in the vineyard. Crop yield was 3 tons per acre, quite low for Merlot standards, to ensure fruit concentration.
Hand harvested and sorted in the vineyard, the Merlot grapes are de-stemmed only into one-ton fermenters ensuring a high proportion of whole berries. After 6-7 days of cold soak, the musts are gradually warmed up to initiate a natural or directed fermentation. Hand plunging is used to keep the cap moist and ensure colour and tannin extraction. The fermentation temperatures are maintained cool early in ferment and then elevated to aid in phenolic extraction. The total maceration time is about 3 weeks. The wines are drained and pressed off just before dryness and tank settled prior to going to barrel.
Our Merlot prefers 100% French Oak, undergoes spontaneous malolactic fermentation and matures in barrel for 16 months with no racking until pre-bottle blending. The 2018 Gold Merlot is 56% new oak puncheons and barrels with the balance in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. Unfined & unfiltered prior to bottling.
Katherine McEachnie: . Judicious use of oak which gently frames the wine and offers textural depth and complexity while allowing the exuberant black fruits to play the leading role. This is an exceptional Merlot, exhibiting world class elegance and highest quality as evidenced by the long lingering length that persists for over 5 minutes in the back palate.