For the first stage of the winemaking process, Mike Peterkin uses a combination of open and closed fermenters and allows the wine six days on skins post-fermentation before transferring it into oak where it undergoes the malolactic fermentation and is matured for about twelve months. To enhance the wine's primary fruit flavours, a majority of mature (rather than new) barriques are used. Blending cabernet sauvignon (65%) and merlot (21%) and Cabernet Franc (14%) gives the wine backbone and tightness of structure while emphasising its smooth, soft texture and fragrance.
Given the great run of vintages of recent years, it's not surprising that there's tremendous consistency from year to year with this red. The current Fire Gully Cab Merlot is showing some restraint on the nose, gently perfumed red berry aromatics, opening onto a palate that has ripe plum and blackcurrant flavours. It is medium to full-bodied, a touch denser than the previous vintage, and so showing more weight, good structure, and gentle grip on the finish. It has the depth and power to reward short term cellaring and the velvety texture and pleasing approachability to make it difficult to resist over the next twelve months.