The Merlot of the Kirkpatrick Estate vineyard covers three different areas and soil types, each offering unique influences on the fruit at harvest. These different areas are kept separate throughout the winemaking and barrel maturation process to allow the best blends to be chosen prior to bottling.
The wine is a blend of the juicy, fruit driven Merlot from the Main Flat area as well as the complex, intensely flavoured fruit from the elevated Top Flat. The Merlot fruit for the Fortified Merlot was selected from the very best areas to ensure depth of flavour and wonderful tannin structure.
Analyses at harvest: 28 April 2009:
Brix = 23.8
pH = 3.76
TA = 6.375g/L
Hand harvested, this small batch was hand plunged four times daily, giving a gentle extraction of tannin and colour. The wine was pressed off once the desired residual sugar had been reached. The wine was then carefully fortified to give depth and warmth to this wine as well as a long smooth finish. Once fortified, the wine was then matured in American barriques for 18 months. This wine required no further fining to enhance it before bottling.
Analyses at bottling December 2010: