Meritage



Blend: 33% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot


Analysis:

Alcohol: 14.5%   pH: 3.59 Titrable acidity: 5.99g/L


Cellaring: 7 to 10 years


Tasting Notes:

A complex, fresh red blend from the moderate 2011 vintage showing aromas ranging the broad spectrum from cassis, vanilla, blackberry and black plum through roasted nut, smoke, black olive, chocolate ice-cream, burlap, dried sage, cocoa and some sweet blue floral notes. The palate is youthful and structured with plenty of acidity and tannin for long ageing and lots of cassis, blueberry, plum, raspberry, cedar, cigar box, paprika and a subtle saffron note that should mature and evolve for at least 10 years. Pair this with a whole slow roasted prime rib or a Provencal style daube. – Rhys Pender, Master of wine

Wine Making:

The 2011 growing season turned out to be, on average, one of the cooler seasons in recent history. However, with careful vineyard management to ensure low yield, the grapes reached high sugar levels, perfect acidity and low pH. The long hang time (i.e. late harvest date) resulted in optimal phenolic ripening of the grapes, which contributes vital characteristics to the color, texture and flavor of wine.

The five varieties were harvested by hand from Burrowing Owls’s vineyards from the last week of October to November 11th.

They were hand sorted and de-stemmed then slightly crushed and gravity dropped into fermenting tanks. They rested at low temperature prior to being slowly heated to start fermentations. Some began naturally; others were inoculated with adapted yeast strains. After 2 to 3 weeks, the wines were drained, pressed and transferred into barrels.

Each variety was treated individually for a year until the first blending. 2011 assemblage is a classic blend with a balanced composition of the main 3 varieties.

The blend was then transferred into a selection of French (85%), Hungarian, Russian and American oak barrels for another 9 months. Racked off its lees carefully and regularly, the wine was eventually bottled unfiltered.

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