The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 - April 2020 Decanter review
Please see some notes written for us by Esk Valley's winemaker, Gordon Russell, regarding this new 2016 vintage.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve CS-Merlot-Malbec 2016 - winemaker notes
Situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels, and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality.
Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the winemakers at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Wines are made from grapes sourced from specific, lower-yielding, intensively-managed blocks of vines. Thety are widely recognised as being amongst the best wines of their kind in New Zealand. Along with The Terraces, this is Esk Valley’s most iconic and revered collection of wines.
This, the Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Red is also the wine which pioneered the use of Malbec in Bordeaux-style blends in New Zealand.
It is only made in the best years/harvests and its blend varies from year to year in order to optimise use of the very best varieties in that year (which explains the changing % mix, names and labels across the vintages).
The fruit is hand picked, de-stemmed, then loaded into Esk Valley’s open-top concrete fermentation vats where it is hand-plunged and left in its skins, before being pressed off into barrels for malolactic fermentation.
Each vineyard parcel is fermented and aged separately before blending. 40% of the 2016 wine went in to new French oak barrels (the other 60% to older barrels) for 17 months, creating a wine that is full bodied and powerful, but elegant and food-friendly too.
"This is a wine that has been made to age well in the bottle, I can quite confidently predict that it will still be drinking beautifully in fifteen years." – Senior Winemaker, Gordon Russell
Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Merlot 32%, Malbec 30%.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Esk Valley. Eagle-eyed customers will spot that they have used the wrong bottle shot.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve CS-Merlot-Malbec 2016 - fiche technique
This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand's red wines. Since the initial 1990 vintage, this is the first Cabernet-based vintage reflecting the nature of the season and Esk's desire to produce the finest wine possible. Deeply coloured, showcasing black cherry, fruitcake, tobacco and subtle oak spice, this is a dry and complex and age-worthy wine.