2019 Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot

Reserve wines are from low-yielding vines producing superior grapes showing intense fruit flavours and pure varietal expression. The winemaking philosophy is to achieve "balance" of flavour, structure and texture.

Reserve wines are more complex than the Mills Reef range and by matching them with food can greatly enhance your dining experience.

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Tasting Notes

This full bodied Merlot sourced from premium grapes is opulent with plum, blueberry and boysenberry fruits with dark chocolate and toasty oak notes. Velvety textured and layered, this appetising wine is ready for immediate enjoyment, or will reward judicious cellaring.

Wine Review

"Produced from vines planted in the Bridge Pa Triangle subregion. The grapes went through a short cold soak before fermentation, where twice daily pump overs were used to extract colour,flavour, and tannin. Aged for 14 months in French oak including 30% new barrels.
You don’t come across many straight Merlot wines, I blame that movie Sideways, but I do love them and this one is truly lovely. The aromas are an amazing combination of dark and red plum, with the slightest hint of juicy pomegranate, dark cocoa, and smoky spice. The delicious aromas carry on to the silky palate and linger long after the wine is gone. I could drink this wine with anything, but best suited to duck pasta or risotto."

The Wine Writer

Vineyards and Winemaking

The grapes for this generous wine were grown in alluvial soils in the prestigious Bridge Pa Winegrowing District, on low yielding vines. The 2019 season begun with a hot dry summer which continued through into autumn. This enabled the single vineyard fruit to be picked at optimum ripeness and flavour profile. Harvesting occurred on April 3rd.

The grapes were gently crushed, allowing some whole berries to remain intact, with the resulting must then transferred into open-top and closed-top fermenters for a 4-day cold soak. Fermentation proceeded with twice-daily aerated pump over of the cap for colour, flavour and fine tannin extraction. The resulting wine was racked once and aged for 14 months in quality French oak barriques (30% new wood). The finished settled wine completed élevage in excellent balance and condition, allowing a light fining in order to retain maximum quality, complexity and intensity. Bottling took place September 7th under screwcap closure.

Leveret and Mills Reef Winery

Leveret & Mills Reef Winery

(+64) 7 552 0795

Leveret and Mills Reef Cellar Door,
2389 State Highway 2, RD4, Katikati

Open 9.30am to 5pm 7 days a week

The Wine Portfolio – Auckland Office

(+64) 9 300 5053

The Wine Portfolio – Auckland Office,
Suite 1, 77 The Strand, Parnell, Auckland