Saturday, November 8, 2008

Esk Valley

Esk Valley is a long established producer in Hawkes Bay. It is well regarded and its wine maker won New Zealand wine maker of the year last year. I tried the 2007 Esk Valley Reserve Chardonnay a couple of nights ago. It tastes of stone fruit, is quite oaky and done in a big style, although not buttery, with an acidic finish. It would belong more to California than the modern Australian style, but might appeal to some.

The 2005 Reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet is regarded as one of the best Bordeaux style wines in New Zealand. It has a beautiful taste of redcurrant and forest berries fruit. The wine has medium weight and a good structure. The different grape varieties give it complexity, with the Merlot dominating. For my taste, it lacks some grip on the finish, but is a well made wine.

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