Esk Valley 'The Terraces' 2015
Esk Valley is a benchmark of elegant, quality-focussed Hawkes Bay wines and the ‘Terraces’ Bordeaux Blend is a towering classic of New Zealand red wine.
This top Bordeaux blend of Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc comes from old vines grown on the steep, terraced, north-facing hillside flanking the Esk Valley winery in Hawke's Bay. The steep limestone terraces face the sun for warm long-ripening with a sea-side micro-climate that gives this top expression a balance, elegance and finesse that is almost unmatched. Through careful viticultural techniques, all 3 varieties are harvested on the same day and fermented as a field blend.
This is a strikingly bold, dark wine with bottomless depth of blackcurrant, plum and strongly spicy flavour. Malbec (43% of the vines) and Merlot (35% of the vines) are typically the major components, supplemented by Cabernet Franc. The Malbec gives 'perfume, spice, tannin and brilliant colour'. Yields in the 1-hectare vineyard are very low, and the wine is matured for 17 to 22 months in mostly new French oak barriques. It matures well, developing a beautiful fragrance and spicy, Rhône-like complexity. One to collect in the cellar!