Madam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Summerhouse 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Chardonnay
O:TU ‘Single Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
125 Gimblett Road 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Merlot Cabernets
Mission ‘Estate’ 2018, 2017 and 2016 New Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2018
Ostler 2017 ‘Lakeside Vines’ Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer
Archangel Central Otago 2018 ‘Lace’ Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2015 Pinot Noir
Main Divide 2018 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc
Rapaura Springs 2018 ‘Classic’ and ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc
Vidal ‘Reserve’ 2018 Rosé and Pinot Gris, 2017 Chardonnay, and 2016 Syrah and Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon
Brightwater Gravels 2017 and Middle-Earth 2018, 2017 and 2016 Releases
Wairau River 2018 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc
Music Bay, O:TU ‘Classic’ and O:TU ‘Single Vineyard’ Releases 2018 – 2016
Tua Marina Marlborough Arneis 2017
Lauregan Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2015
Thistle Ridge North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Paddy Borthwick Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Matawhero ‘First Sun’ Gisborne Rosé 2018
Wooing Tree 2018 Central Otago ‘Tickled Pink’
Californian and Italian Value from Procure
Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV, Rosé NV and Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013
Te Motu Waiheke Island 2013
Georges Road 2018 ‘Les Terrasses’ Rosé and 2016 ‘Cuvee 43’ Syrah
Brookfields 2018 ‘Fiesta’ Rosé, and 2017 ‘Back Block’ Syrah and ‘Sun Dried’ Malbec
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Esk Valley ‘The Hillside’ 2013

30 May,2018

The Esk Valley ‘The Terraces’ is a unique representation of the 1 ha of vines on the terraced hillside overlooking the former winery in the Bay View district of Hawke’s Bay. Winemaker Gordon Russell took the approach of co-fermenting equal proportions of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the result since its first vintage in 1991 has seen the rise of one of the great red wines of New Zealand. The wine is powerful, rich and individual. (Click here to see my review notes of the 2013-2015 vintages tasted in September last year.)

In 2016 Esk Valley released their inaugural ‘The Hillside’ wine, from the 2010 vintage, ostensibly the second label to the iconic ‘The Terraces’.  The 2010 ‘The Hillside’ has been well-received, I’ve rated it around the 5-stars mark, noting it to be of a more robust style (click here to see my review).

In the exceptional 2013 Hawke’s Bay vintage, Gordon reports that the yield of the Merlot was relatively abundant.  Rather than making a ‘The Terraces’ wine which was Merlot predominant, he decided to use this fruit to form the basis of a ‘The Hillside’ wine.  The resultant wine is two-thirds Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc and a little Malbec.  As with the first ‘The Hillside’ wine, this will be released with around 5 years bottle-age on it.  Here is my review of the new wine.


Esk Valley ‘The Hillside’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and well-concentrated with aromas of ripe black plums along with fragrant redcurrant nots entwined with subtle earthy and suggestions of secondary detail, unfolding dark herbs and some spices. The aromatics grow in depth and density with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate is rich and plush with sweetly ripe, juicy flavours of black plums with a suggestion of boysenberries and blackberries, along with subtle notes of redcurrants and dark herbs. The fruit sweetness fills the palate and is supported by very fine-grained tannin extraction providing plenty of mouthfeel and refined grip. The acidity is balanced and provides underlying energy and drive. As the wine flows, pencilly oak elements emerge add lift and complexing detail. The wine carries to a very long, rich, concentrated, sweet, black-fruited finish. This is a beautifully rich and sweet-fruited, generous and plush, Merlot-based blend with mouthfilling flavours and fine structure, finishing with real length. A co-fermented blend of 66% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec from ‘The Terraces’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. 19.5-/20 May 2018 RRP $90.00

Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny