Trophy for Champion Pinot Gris – Hawkes Bay Wine Awards 2020
Gold Medal – Hawkes Bay Wine Awards 2020
Esk Valley were early adapters of this now popular variety with the first commercial release in 2001. Winemaker Gordon Russell has played around with the style over the years and has now settled on what he equates to a dry Pinot Grigio (but with plenty of flavour!), rather than the sweeter Alsace style. The grapes are now picked earlier and then fermented with natural yeasts (some in older oak) with some lees contact to help build layers of flavour but without losing freshness.
Winery notes (2020 Vintage)
"This is a dry but rich style of Pinot Gris with aromas and flavours of baked apple, peach, citrus and honey. A small portion of barrel fermentation has added richness and complexity to this delicious and highly drinkable wine.
The grapes were harvested in the morning while temperatures were cool and processed as quickly and gently as possible to avoid colour and tannin pick up from the pink Pinot Gris berries. The juice was settled bright before fermentation in both tank and large old oak barrels. The finished wine was left on its yeast lees with regular stirring until bottling.
This is a single vineyard wine from the Keltern Vineyard situated near Maraekakaho on a stony river terrace formed by the Ngaruroro River. With warm daytime temperatures and cool nights this is an ideal site to grow premium Pinot Gris. The old vines are spur pruned and intensively managed to provide ripe fruit from low yielding vines. Enjoy as a young wine or cellar for a richer and more complex style."
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2020 Vintage)
"The top value 2020 vintage was estate-grown in the Keltern Vineyard, at Maraekakaho, and made with a small portion of barrel fermentation. Full-bodied, it has fresh, ripe peach, pear, lychee and spice flavours, showing impressive delicacy and depth, a touch of complexity and a finely poised, basically dry (4.2 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish."
91/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, September 2020 (2020 Vintage)
"It's delightfully fruited and fragrant on the nose showing golden peach, rockmelon, fresh pear and subtle spice notes, leading to a succulent palate that delivers lovely weight and rounded mouthfeel, well supported by fine texture and refreshing acidity. At its best: now to 2022."
Reviews for the 2019 vintage below…
5 Stars, Top 5 & Best Buy Cuisine Pinot Gris Tasting, February 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Gentle delicate aromas of baked apple and pear with a hint of residual sugar playing on the palate. Full-bodied and complex with silky creamy bakedpeach- crumble characteristics. A vibrant, young and fresh wine that has a gorgeous lengthy finish to offer."