** ALL NOW GONE, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EXCELLENT, CABERNET SAUVIGNON-RICH AND RECENTLY-RELEASED 2016 VINTAGE IS ALSO AVAILABLE (click link) AND RECOMMENDED!
SEE THAT PAGE FOR WHY THE ESK LEAD WINEMAKER THINKS IT MAY BE BETTER STILL! **
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
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. 60-70% of the wine goes in to new French oak barrels, 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
Merlot 54%, Malbec 31%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Esk Valley. NB: it's a small thing, but we know how eagle-eyed some of you are ... Esk V have used the wrong bottle image on this sheet, being that for a year in which Cabernet Sauvignon was the better/more prominent Cabernet!
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 - fiche technique
This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand’s red wines. The 2014 vintage is deeply coloured with aromatics hinting at black fruits including cherries and blackberries, with hints of cedar and smoke. The flavours, typical of Gimblett Gravels Merlot blends tend toward fruitcake, cherry, chocolate and oak spice. The palate is soft and mouthfilling showcasing the high percentage of Merlot and finishes dry and long. This is a fine vintage for this blend.
ABV = 14.0%.