This Esk Valley red blend is consistently one of the great value wines coming out of Hawkes Bay. With a long line of accolades that belie its modest price, previous vintages have been awarded Michael Cooper's Best Buy Red wine for the 2017 vintage and the 2018 vintage won Trophy Champion Merlot & Blends (Royal Easter Wine Show 2020). This newly released 2019 we think is even better and with a new, even lower price, is purely and simply a 'Must Buy" Drink now and also put some in the cellar.
Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"This Merlot based blend grown in the arid, stoney soils of the famed Gimblett Gravels has long been a speciality of ours. With perfectly ripened fruit and custom made concrete fermenters we have produced a smooth and full bodied signature style, bursting with flavours of blackcurrant, plum and cedar. A beautifully pure, complex wine that can be enjoyed now or will age gracefully for several years."
90/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, March 2021 (2019 Vintage)
"It's beautifully ripe and delightfully fragrant on the nose showing Black Doris plum, blackcurrant, floral, clove and hazelnut aromas, followed by a flavoursome palate displaying youthful charm and silky flow. Upfront and very appealing. At its best: now to 2025."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"Offering outstanding value, the 2018 vintage is a blend of Merlot (49 per cent), Cabernet Sauvignon (33 per cent), Malbec (16 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (2 per cent), grown in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for a year in French oak barriques. Full-coloured, it is weighty and generous, with ripe, berryish, spicy flavours, showing very good complexity. Already approachable, it’s well worth cellaring to at least 2022."
91/100 Wine Enthusiast (2017 Vintage)
"This is classic Gimblett Gravels – with Merlot leading the way – at a bargain price. Notes of ripe blackberries, currents, warm earth, ground black pepper and dried savoury herbs with some oaky tones can be found on both the nose and the palate. It's full bodied and generously fruited, wound with a dusty thread of earthy tannins and a herbal finish. Drink now, with a rare steak or throughout the next decade."