Oyster Bay Merlot
Round, smooth, supple Merlot with enticing aromas and flavours of fleshy black plum and blackberry on the nose and palate. Medium- to almost full-bodied.
The growing season was warm and dry with settled weather setting the scene for excellent flowering and fruit set. Temperatures continued to be warm through January and February creating ideal conditions for ripening and flavour development. Meticulous canopy management and controlled irrigation coupled with the warm weather allowed excellent varietal concentration to develop into the autumn, resulting in lively, intense fruit flavours and characteristic aromaticity. Following a fantastic growing season, the onset of rainfall coincided with the conclusion of harvest resulting in a perfect vintage, and fruit coming into the winery in top quality condition with pure varietal intensity.
The fruit was destemmed, crushed and transferred into stainless steel fermentation tanks. The must was inoculated with pure yeast cultures to enhance varietal aromatics and fruit characters. Tailored rackings and pump overs were performed during fermentation to obtain delicate fruit tannins and maximise flavour and colour extraction. Following gentle pressing, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in tank and in French oak barriques. A large portion of the blend was then aged in French oak barriques for 11 months to provide softness and complexity to the wine.
Food Pairing Notes
Rare roast beef, coq au vin, and lamb chops.
The philosophy of Oyster Bay is to produce fine, distinctly regional wines that are elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavours. The Hawke’s Bay wine region is arguably the most exciting find in recent times for the cultivation of Merlot in New Zealand. Ancient alluvial river terraces provide for a superb mix of soils over gravelly, free-draining sub soils, with an abundance of pure river water for irrigation. With a temperate maritime climate, the vines are warmed by strong clear sunlight during the day and cooled at night by the sea breezes of the Pacific Ocean. This is the unique environment in which Merlot produces its vibrant, fully ripened varietal flavours. Essentially Oyster Bay Merlot is about elegance and intensity of fruit. The hero is always freshness of ripe fruit, spice and soft tannins on the palate.