ColourDeep inky red
AromaLayers of aromas that range from from ripe blackberry to warm spices and delicate mint leaf characters. Underlying smoked oak adds to the complexity
Taste & Other Notes
Full, richly textured palate weight bursting with freshness, touches of leafiness as expected from cool climate Cabernet based reds and touches of warm chocolate and spice characters.. The tannins are very fine and and provide great structure. The finish is long with some nice fresh, juicy acidity that makes the mouth water. This is an outstanding wine and while drinking beautifully now will continue to age gracefully in the cellar for another 5 – 8 years.
The current release 2013 version retails for approx $75
Winery Technical Notes
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Merlot (24%), Cabernet Franc (20%), Malbec (18%)
Vintage Conditions: The 2002 vintage was marked by a cool summer, with higher than normal rainfall over January and February. The early budburst in 2001 put flowering ahead of normal, and cooler summer temperatures allowed for a slow ripening process, retaining excellent fruit character in the grapes. Late February and March saw a turn in the weather with hot summer days. The later varieties ripened quickly, compressing the harvest from mid March to the third week of April. The vintage was marked by high Brix levels and clean fruit
Technical Winemaking Details: The grapes were cold soaked pre ferment, and the yeast fermentation allowed tocommence by increasing the temperature. Our purpose built red fermentation tanks allow us to totally control temperature and speed of fermentation. We combine standard Bordeaux winery practice with methods that enhance the best of Hawke’s Bay terroir. Tannin management and fruit extraction are important to monitor. Daily tasting gives us the best indication when to take the wine off skins. Total maceration on skins for the 2002 vintage was between 18 and 30 days. All Aviator ferments are basket pressed in our 1 tonne baskets, and transferred directly to temperature controlled barrel rooms. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel, in 75 % new, 100% French oak. Barrels were racked back to the same barrel after malo to give us the best blending possibilities, both from vineyard batches as well as oak influences. Final blending of varieties and batches did not take place until after 16 months barrel maturation. The final maturation time in oak was 23 months. The wine was then blended to tank and bottled without fining and only light filtration.
Total production: 1000 cases
Analysis at bottling: Alcohol 14.0% pH 3.73 TA 5.5 RS <1.0 Harvest Dates: 2 March – 15 April 2002 Brix at harvest: 22.0 to 24.1 Bottling date: 9 March 2004