Our limited edition chilled Merlot, made with fruit from the ‘Lonely Cow’ Vineyard
We have managed the Lonely Cow vineyard, on the Awaawaroa peninsular for over 7 years now – primarily for our Rosé.
This wine aims to further showcase the terroir of this beautiful and unique site in a creative and experimental way.
From the crisp cold morning it was picked to the lonely isolated ferment in the darkness of our cellar, this wine has been a sharp deviation from the typical Te Motu wines. A unique vibrant light red now ready for its day in the sun.
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MAIN PORTION (90%)
Fruit was harvested in the early morning while bunches were still dew-covered and the sun had not yet risen over the vineyard. The timing of harvest was similar to our Rose but the fruit was carefully selected from a specific area of the block that has the most healthy and balanced vines and reduced sunlight exposure.
The cool fruit was quickly brought back to Te Motu and gently destemmed into bins, the whole berries were delicately placed into a tank by hand to preserve as many intact berries as possible. The tank was saturated with CO2 to try to promote some partial Carbonic maceration. This tank was kept cool in the cellar while the fruit soaked for 5 days completely undisturbed, this allowed for a gentle extraction of colour and flavour from the skins with little/no contact with seeds and limited extraction of phenolics from unbroken skins.
After 5 days the juice was tasting great and the colour was bright, the fruit was pressed very lightly to limit extraction. Juice was then pumped back to tank and inoculated with a non-saccharomyces (“wild”) yeast strain suited to cold fermentations and fruit expression. Fermentation was kept cool and slow, maintaining fruit and fermentation aromatics.
Full MLF fermentation was encouraged to ensure a natural microbial stability needed for minimal fining and filtration.
CARBONIC PORTION (10%)
10% of the fruit was meticulously sorted and gently placed into a separate tank as whole bunches. This tank was then pumped full of CO2. Over 3 weeks the berries soaked up the CO2 and began Carbonic “fermentation” extracting colour from the outside in. This process limits tannin extraction, lowers alcohol potential and produces interesting flavours of bubble gum and candied fruit. After 3 weeks this component was first destemmed then was pressed very lightly and combined in the blend.
Bottled with low SO2 usage (under 100 ppm total)
Completely Unfined and Unfiltered – precipitate and/or slight haze may develop in bottle but is harmless and won’t affect taste.
Sugar: Bone dry
Allergen info: Contains sulphites.