Sunday, 7 June 2009
Esk Valley Pinot Gris
Situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island Esk Valley is located in Hawkes Bay and is run as an independent winery with its own vineyards and wine making facilities where grapes are sourced exclusively from Hawkes Bay vineyards. The wine is made by Gordon Russell who first started as assistant winemaker in 1990 then achieved head winemaker in 1993. Gordon focuses on the balance and harmony of the wine together with the complexity and palate interest to reflect the terroir of the individual vineyards.
At first a worrying vintage for winemakers in Hawkes Bay the 2007 vintage yielded a memorable harvest despite the cool summer. The vineyards are all free draining and are trained using vertical shoot positioning. The vineyards are harvested at intervals to provide variances in brix levels for acidity and freshness as well as noble rot influences. The Pinot Gris grapes were hand picked at the Hawkes Bay vineyard sites located close to the warm coastline from the 15th of March until the 23rd of April.
Esk Valley - Hawkes Bay - Pinot Gris - 2007
Served chilled this wine has a clear and light appearance but right off the bat the aroma is really dominated by the juicy ripe pear component, really quite aromatic with floral honeysuckle, a little apricot and butter, baked apple and an almost spritzy pear cider nose. The palate is entertained by a great round balance of fruit meets tannin meets acidity again with the soft and juicy pear and honeysuckle flavors. At 14% alcohol this wine hides the heat astonishingly well and is integrated nicely to the smooth round body and acidity freshness, however to be clear this is an off dry wine with a certain moreish danger factor coupled with the alcohol level. I like it though and at around £9 a bottle its a good wine to bring out with friends or to enjoy yourself. 89/100
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