Grape(s): 60% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Localization: Marlborough, New Zealand
Tasting Notes: Medium red fruits and some earth, spice and leather undertones on the nose call to mind classic Bordeaux. The palate is medium-bodied and pleasantly weighty without being overpowering. Fresh and accessible, but also showing complex structure that speaks to the very talented winemaker behind this release, and the precisely-judged blend of five distinct varietals.
Notes: In the winery, bunches were 100% destemmed and 80% crushed into oak cuves or stainless steel open-top fermenters. Ferments were cold soaked for 4-5 days to allow wild yeast development, then inoculated with oenological yeasts. Total time on skins ranged from 1-3 weeks depending on the varietal, fruit condition and the character desired. Free run wines were put to barrel and marc was lightly basket pressed. All wine was barrel-aged in French oak for ca. 21 months before final blending. The wine was sterile-filtered and bottled under screw cap on the estate.
The Domain: Founder/winemaker Judy Fowler is a Virginia, USA native and graduate of Sweet Briar College and UVA's Darden Business School. She fell in love with New Zealand and founded her flagship Puriri Hills winery in the late 1990s.