Merlot Limestone Coast South Australia
Planted atop the highest ridge dissecting the vineyard, the defining visual impact of Norfolk Rise is a hundred Norfolk Island Pines planted along a five hundred metre length of ridge. Lying in the lee of the trees under Mount Benson, are parcels of Merlot vines uncompromisingly husbanded to the most wholistic viticultural practices. The dark blue berries ripen slowly into voluptuous Merlot grapes with distinctive primary fruit characters.
Merlot is selectively harvested from the Norfolk Rise vineyards at Mount Benson at the southern end of the Limestone Coast. The vines are planted on near perfect Terra Rossa soils, providing an ideal level of nutrient and water retention. Grapes are picked, immediately de-stemmed and crushed. Inoculation ensues in a combination of small static and ganimede fermenters following a brief cold soak. Juices are vinified for several days at temperatures below 28C, followed by a year's maturation in a selection of seasoned French and American oak barriques, followed by a light filtration before bottling.
Medium crimson red colour. Fragrant violets and sweet cherry, dark chocolates, a hint of dried herb and lightly spiced cedar. Cherry, plum and forest fruit flavours balanced by chocolate and vanilla oak notes, finishing with good length and soft fine tannins. To accompany gilled lamb chops or rabbit casserole, ravioli or veal.