Since its inception in 1993, partners John Hancock, who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years, and Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, 47 of which are in the Gimblett Gravels and knows the Hawkes Bay and Gimblett Gravels exceptionally well. The wines reflect this, as they characterise the best of what Hawkes Bay can produce. They have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour that makes them a joy to sell.
The grapes are sourced from vineyards predominantly in the Gimblett Gravels and the Bridge Pa Triangle regions of Hawkes Bay. The soils are deep river gravels, left by the Ngaruroro River as it changed course over many thousands of years. These free-draining gravels can be more than 100 metres deep. Their low fertility, along with the ability to control vine vigour by controlling soil moisture, give small crops with highly concentrated flavours and aromas.
2015 was a warm season in Hawkes Bay with a typically dry, late summer and early autumn. Special canopy management of the vines along with impeccable viticulture during the growing season ensured fruit quality was high.
Each individual vineyard parcel was harvested separately and then gently de-stemmed prior to fermentation. Daily pumping over of the skins during fermentation helped extract tannins. Following fermentation, the skin maceration was extended for up to four weeks to further integrate and soften the tannins. After 14 months' ageing in a combination of small French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, the individual parcels were blended.
The leather and plum aromas of the Merlot combine with spice and red fruit characters of Tempranillo and Malbec. Cassis aromas and structural backbone are provided by the Cabernet Franc. These elements are all balanced with richness on the palate and soft, ripe tannins.