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Elephant Hill - Merlot Malbec 2014

$30.00
Sale price

Regular price $30.00

Climatically 2014 was an exceptional vintage and allowed us to grow and ripen grapes to optimum quality.

Region:  Gimblett Gravels, Te Awanga
Alcohol %:  14.0
Residual Sugar:  <1 g/L
Bottling Date: 02/09/2016

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Elephant Hill

Established in 2003, Elephant Hill is located within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean on the idyllic Te Awanga coast of Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.

The winemaking at Elephant Hill is driven by tradition while not losing sight of what innovation can bring to the blend. Our aim is to make wines that are balanced and elegant and a true expression of the vineyards they come from.

The technology associated with winemaking is always improving, as is the knowledge and understanding of the science of wine. Important as these factors are, to preserve the varietal integrity of the fruit from our vineyard is key. In the winery we ferment our grapes in many small, separate batches. This allows for the nuances and character of each separate fermentation to come to the fore and be considered when blending for our Estate, Reserve or Icon wines.

The perfect vintage is warm and dry throughout autumn; the climate so benign of threats that we can pick the fruit when it is truly flavour-ripe for the style of wine desired. The perfect vintage, of course, does not exist. In crafting wine one learns to deal with the weather nature hands you, and gradually to enjoy the variation from year to year. Great wine should reflect the site and the climate of where it is grown. One of the most rewarding challenges in making wine is to craft a wine that best represents the vintage in which it was grown, that plays to the strengths of the harvest and mitigates the challenges that were faced.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Hawke's Bay

New Zealand’s second largest wine region, sunny Hawke’s Bay has been an abundant source of fine wine since 1851.

Vines were first planted in 1851 by Marist missionaries and Hawke’s Bay enjoys a significant international reputation for producing some of the country’s best wines, red and white.

A relatively large and diverse region capable of producing a wide range of varieties to a very high standard, Hawke’s Bay is best known for its Red Blends and Chardonnay but aromatic whites are consistently good and Syrah is incredibly impressive.

Hawke’s Bay is home to an outstanding wine tourism culture and offers a wide variety of cellar door experiences as well as regular food and wine festivals.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

Climatically 2014 was an exceptional vintage and allowed us to grow and ripen grapes to optimum quality.

Region:  Gimblett Gravels, Te Awanga
Alcohol %:  14.0
Residual Sugar:  <1 g/L
Bottling Date: 02/09/2016

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Elephant Hill

Established in 2003, Elephant Hill is located within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean on the idyllic Te Awanga coast of Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.

The winemaking at Elephant Hill is driven by tradition while not losing sight of what innovation can bring to the blend. Our aim is to make wines that are balanced and elegant and a true expression of the vineyards they come from.

The technology associated with winemaking is always improving, as is the knowledge and understanding of the science of wine. Important as these factors are, to preserve the varietal integrity of the fruit from our vineyard is key. In the winery we ferment our grapes in many small, separate batches. This allows for the nuances and character of each separate fermentation to come to the fore and be considered when blending for our Estate, Reserve or Icon wines.

The perfect vintage is warm and dry throughout autumn; the climate so benign of threats that we can pick the fruit when it is truly flavour-ripe for the style of wine desired. The perfect vintage, of course, does not exist. In crafting wine one learns to deal with the weather nature hands you, and gradually to enjoy the variation from year to year. Great wine should reflect the site and the climate of where it is grown. One of the most rewarding challenges in making wine is to craft a wine that best represents the vintage in which it was grown, that plays to the strengths of the harvest and mitigates the challenges that were faced.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Hawke's Bay

New Zealand’s second largest wine region, sunny Hawke’s Bay has been an abundant source of fine wine since 1851.

Vines were first planted in 1851 by Marist missionaries and Hawke’s Bay enjoys a significant international reputation for producing some of the country’s best wines, red and white.

A relatively large and diverse region capable of producing a wide range of varieties to a very high standard, Hawke’s Bay is best known for its Red Blends and Chardonnay but aromatic whites are consistently good and Syrah is incredibly impressive.

Hawke’s Bay is home to an outstanding wine tourism culture and offers a wide variety of cellar door experiences as well as regular food and wine festivals.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.