Reserve Bordeaux Blends
The Gimblett Gravels vineyards of Villa Maria have consistently produced fruit for the Reserve blend for over a decade. The free-draining, gravelly soils and the warm temperatures of the Gimblett Gravels naturally encourage low yields and devigourated vines. Low crop levels with shoots numbering 20-25 per vine ensure the resulting fruit is deeply coloured, richly flavoured and displays ripe tannins.
Fruit was hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed into stainless steel open-top fermenters. Fermentation was encouraged to peak at temperatures of 30ºC to 32 ºC with hand plunging carried out four times daily. After three to four weeks on skin for Merlot parcels and four to six weeks for Cabernet Sauvignon parcels the resulting wines were passed off to three year dried fine grain French oak barriques. Once malolactic fermentation was completed the wines were gently racked and returned back to the barrels for 20 months maturation. At the third and last rack, the wines were fined with egg-whites, then minimally filtered and bottled.
This Reserve blend typically has a dark purple hue. On the nose it delivers an intoxicating array of crushed berries and cassis, mingling with black tobacco tar, dried thyme and complex cedary spice nuances. The palate is soft yet concentrated, beautifully textured with fine-grained tannins and creamy, supportive, integrated oak. The resulting blend has an understated elegance and power that will benefit from careful cellaring for many years to come.
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