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2016 'Le Chevalier' Merlot-Cabernet-PV

DESCRIPTION
This wine is a blend of three classic Bordeaux varieties - Merlot (55%), Cabernet Sauvignon (39%) and Petit Verdot (6%) harvested in April 2016. Merlot for middle palate and depth, Cabernet for structure, brightness and acid, and Petit Verdot for colour and intensity. Vibrant colour with purple hues and aromas of ripe berry and blackcurrant. Very long palate with chocolate and spice characters and integrated oak. Balanced tannin finish

TERROIR
Our family’s estate is in the hills above Rylstone in the Central Ranges of NSW with 53 hectares of vines first planted in 1998 above 600m altitude with a North-East aspect. Soil structure is sandy-loam mixed with limestone; the temperature range is as cool as Tasmania and Central Otago through the growing season; and the climate is inland/continental (large day/night variation) creating a terroir similar to Burgundy (our ancestral home) and Champagne.

VINEYARD
Sourced from C Block (Cabernet and Petit Verdot) and B Block (Merlot) with an average vine age of 15 years.
Harvest: Machine harvested on 28 March 2016 (Merlot) and 15 April (Cabernet and Petit Verdot) with an average baumé of 13.5.
Vintage Conditions: 2016 started quite wet, requiring active trellis management, but for the final 3 months was dry and hotter than average producing a vintage approximately 2 weeks earlier than average.


VINIFICATION
Pressing was very slow to be gentle on the fruit. Very lightly fined with egg whites to soften the tannins and round out the body of the wine. Fermentation occurred in a combination of stainless tanks and a mixture of old and new French oak barrels for 10 days.

AGING
Aged for 14 Months in 30% new and 70% 1 to 3-year-old French (Seguin Moreau) Hogsheads

TASTING NOTES
The colour is a vibrant red with purple hues and displays ripe red berry and blackcurrant aromas. The palate is long with berry, chocolate and spice characters with integrated French oak, and has a soft, ripe, balanced tannin finish.

VIN ET GASTRONOMIE
When matching food and wine, transitions should be factored in, and to this end this wine can be an excellent solution for the central part of your meal covering at least two courses. This wine is well suited to classic beef, game or lamb roasts or stews like Côte de Boeuf or Pauillac Lamb. Stronger cheeses like Roquefort, Camembert and Brie work well with the tannins.

WINE TIPS
Cellaring Potential: 10 to 15 years (2026 to 2031)
Serving Temperature: 16 to 18 degrees C / 61 to 65 degrees F

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