Matau, Māori for ‘right’, designates both our blend of traditional right-bank Bordeaux varieties, and the right half of our vineyard where they are grown.
Characterised by heavier, cooler soils with a higher clay content than the Mauī vineyard, this site is ideal for the earlier ripening merlot and cabernet franc which form the basis of this blend. Exact percentages will vary by vintage, and there may be a bit of malbec and a pinch of cabernet sauvignon from time to time; 2014 was a pretty good year for merlot, and it is the dominant partner in this blend.
The merlot was given a long time on skins post-ferment, whereas the franc was co-fermented with a tiny batch of cabernet sauvignon, and pressed off relatively quickly to maintain primary character. This blend was given an unusually long time in older French oak (for a New Zealand wine) in order to enhance the savoury flavours and soften tannins; right-bank blends are typically softer and more approachable as young wines than their left-bank peers, and we are looking to develop a similar differentiation in style between our two blends.