12 Pack Martello Rock 2015
Deep crimson in colour with a purplish edge; on the nose, complex berry, spice, cedar and earthy aromas with a touch of smokiness. The tautly structured palate offers a black forest gateau experience: chocolate, coffee and cherry kirsch, encased in chewy, velvety tannins showing great density and presence.
Harvest date: 2nd – 24th April 2015
Bottling date: 25th May 2016
Composition: 47% Malbec 30% Cabernet Franc 12% Merlot 11% Petit Verdot
TA: 6.5 pH: 3.58
Quantity produced: 249 dozen
Brick Bay is a Certified Sustainable vineyard and the vineyard management focus is on keeping an open canopy to offset any fungal issues that may arise from humidity, while promoting the health of the vine to boost the natural defences of each plant. Pruning, fruit selection, leaf-plucking and harvesting operations are all carried out by hand.
In the Vineyard:
2015 was the third excellent vintage in a row for us here at Brick Bay, with a mild winter and an early spring producing a good healthy, disease-free canopy.
We then experienced the driest January on record, and settled into a long warm summer and balmy autumn.
The grapes moved into veraison earlier than usual and we rushed to net in the third week of January to protect from the ravenous birds who swoop in at the first sign of colour.
Our vineyard team worked hard at fruit-thinning and leaf plucking, allowing sun and air to penetrate the leafy canopy, and by early March we had started to hand-harvest.
Juggling the decisions of when to pick, with an eye on weather and fruit condition, is one of the more nerve-wracking tasks of the vintage. Last year’s wasp invasions were now replaced by squadrons of bees attracted by ripening grapes. It was a case of patiently waiting for optimum flavours to develop, taking care that we retain that all-important acidity and ensuring the sugar levels are not excessive to give us overly alcoholic wines.
In the winery:
Each of the 4 varieties was destemmed and crushed separately into small open-top fermenters. A selected yeast instigated fermentation, with the rising ‘cap’ of skins initially hand-plunged four times daily. As alcoholic fermentation proceeded, the plunging regime was decreased to avoid over-extraction. After a period of post-fermentation maceration to add structure and balance, the wine was racked, the skins gently pressed, settled, then aged in 1, 2 and 3 year old French oak barriques. Different coopers and forest origins were utilized to optimize the potential of each grape varietal. After 12 months, selected barriques were blended together. The wine was then bottled without fining and bottle-aged for a further year or so before release.
Totally approachable now, but in stable cellaring conditions, will continue to evolve and develop further complexity over the next 5-8 years.