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Esk Valley - Verdelho 2018/19

White wine from Hawke's Bay · New Zealand
Price: £12.95
Case Rate: £12.32
Ex Tax: £10.79
Country:
Wine Region: Hawke's Bay
Wine Maker: Gordon Russell
Grape: Verdelho
Grape Percentage: 100%
Alcohol Percentage: 13.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Best To Drink: Drink Now
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86 pts  Wine Advocate/Robert Parker
Country:
Wine Region: Hawke's Bay
Wine Maker: Gordon Russell
Grape: Verdelho
Grape Percentage: 100%
Alcohol Percentage: 13.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Best To Drink: Drink Now

Wine tasting notes

Verdelho is a traditional and famous variety from the Portugese Island of Madeira where for many centuries it was used in the production of fortified wine. Esk Valley has been New Zealand’s pioneer of this variety, producing a dry style Verdelho from our Hawkes Bay vineyards since 2002. This is a full bodied and dry style wine, rich but with a fresh acidity. Aromas and flavours of peach, musk and orange citrus predominate with a grapefruit like acidity providing length.

Winery information

Esk Valley

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.Senior winemaker Gordon Russell has established himself as one of New Zealand's most recognisable winemaking identities with his passionate approach to winemaking, and the enormous success he has achieved with his wines in tastings and competitions. He was appointed as Esk Valley winemaker in 1993, after working for Villa Maria in Auckland starting as a cellar hand from 1987, then becoming Cellar Foreman under Villa Maria's winemaker at the time Kym Milne MW. Gordon moved to Esk Valley as assistant winemaker to Grant Edmonds from 1990 and within a few years had been promoted to the position of Winemaker, which he has now held for more than 20 years.Gordon believes that the concept of 'texture' in a wine is as important as the aromas and flavours of the wine. By 'texture' he means the balance and harmony of the wine, together with complexity and palate interest. He aims to produce premium hand-crafted wines that are both elegant and sophisticated, and which truly reflect the character of the individual vineyards.

Expert reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2014) - 86 pts

March 2016 - Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The 2014 Esk Valley Hawke's Bay Verdelho has a nose of fresh apples and pears with fennel seed and straw hints. Medium-bodied and dry with plenty of texture and a delicious savoriness on the nose, it has a lively acid backbone and long honey laced finish.


JancisRobinson.com (2016) - 15.5 pts

Tasted Nov 2016 - Ripe, scented and peachy in aroma and flavour. Good varietal character but tastes a bit industrial (soul-less). (JH)


Decanter (2015) - 91 pts

Esk Valley is New Zealand’s Verdelho pioneer, planting the Omahu Gravels vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels sub-region in 1998. This is a pretty wine, full of juicy mandarin orange and fresh tropical fruit notes with added texture and weight from partial oak fermentation and maturation.


Michael Cooper (2016) - 4 stars

The 2016 vintage (4*) was partly barrel-fermented and made in a dry style (2.5 grams/litre of residual sugar). Mouthfilling, it is vibrantly fruity, with strong tropical-fruit flavours, woven with fresh acidity, and clear-cut varietal characters. Best drinking mid-2017+.


Quentin Sadler (2013) - 89 pts

Delightfully aromatic and floral with a real zing of lime and a mineral edge together with a touch of oiliness. On the palate the texture marries beautifully with the freshness and the minerality. The oak just gives a dollop of cream and a bit of complexity, but never dominates, while some tropical fruit and citrus flavours of mandarin and lime make it utterly delicious – 89/100 points.

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Vinification notes

The fruit was hand picked and whole cluster pressed, then fermented in both tank and aged French oak barriques. The wine in barriques was fermented with indigenous yeasts and left on lees till blending and bottling, while the portions in tank were cool fermented with selected yeast strains to capture the clean vineyard derived aromatics and flavours.