Mauī is Māori for ‘left’, and we use it to designate both the left half of our vineyard, and our blend of traditional left-bank Bordeaux varieties: cabernet sauvignon is the key variety here; vintage dependent there will be varying percentages of merlot, and possibly malbec.
Marginal in much of Hawke's Bay, cabernet sauvignon is picky - too hot and you lose the varietal blackcurrant flavours and get some fairly generic red wine, too cold and it will be under-ripe with unpleasant green characters and harsh tannins. Certain sites in the bay can walk that fine line, and we're pretty happy to have one of them - the stones in the old riverbed here give us the little extra heat kick needed in the bay climate.
2017 was a tough year in general for the reds, and in particular for cabernet sauvignon in Hawke's Bay - anyone trying to yield high would have had a very difficult time with the wet weather kicking in early. These sorts of years increase the difference between hand-tended low-cropped vineyards and those that are more commercially driven. Low cropping vines ripen faster and more consistently, and a hand managed canopy maximises fruit drying to reduce disease pressure. Consequently even in the bad years good wine can be made in good vineyards.
This wine spent 15 months in French oak, and is roughly 50-50 cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Cabernet sauvignon blends are some of the most cellar-worthy around: as tannins soften further and distinctive violet aromas develop these wines come into their own. Try to save some.