For the first time since 2008 Hans has released a single varietal, sacrificed from our signature Spirit of Marlborough. Merlot encompasses iconic expressions of dark fruit and a smooth softness of chocolate, coffee and violet. Whilst Bordeaux is its signature home, it has made itself a force to be reckoned with on the banks of the Wairau River here in our home of Marlborough.
Another stunning growing season, confirming Marlborough as one of the worlds best wine region, perfect for our Merlot. We handpicked luscious grapes with incredible purity at full physiological ripeness during a wonderful ‘Indian’ summer.
Hans' Winemaking Comments+
'All Merlot is normally part of our Bordeaux blend ‘The Spirit of Marlborough’ but the 2019 had a special magic to it and I put two barrels aside. The immensely flavourful fruit destemmed, I left 60% as whole berries, allowing a long cold soak for a slow, soft extraction of colour and flavours from the grape skins. The must went through a natural wild fermentation for a true expression of the grape variety and its terroir, unspoiled by added yeast or any other additions. The must was left 21 days on the skins before being gently pressed and transferred into two new 225 litre French barriques for the natural malolactic fermentation. The young Merlot matured for 24 months in the same barrel, making it a contender for a great life ahead. After a further 18 months of bottle ageing, it is now drinking perfectly. Unfined (vegan) and unfiltered to retain the great flavours. Natural perfection.'
Whilst Bordeaux is the spiritual home of Merlot and the Right Bank regions of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol iconic benchmark expressions of the variety, this left bank expression grown on similar soils is a serious contender, destined for long-term aging. Bursting with flavours of dark fruit, brimming in plums with spicy chocolate, coffee and violet. Impressively structured, powered by highly refined tannins as much as by great fruit with a juicy acidity. Polished aristocracy from the duke, bringing the old and new world together. Elegantly balanced, savoury and very moreish.
RipariaGloire (known for very low vigour)
|Soil||Shallow (<45 cm) stony soil, well drained, developed from stony alluvium. Not one row shows the same soil type. Sand and gravel is broken up by clay-sand layers.|
|Planting Density||5,500 vines/ha|
|Residual Sugar||<1 g/l|
|Ageing Potential||20 years|
Food Matching Suggestions+
Merlot and lean meats are an excellent combination. Hans would match it to a juicy South Island rack of lamb. Heaven...