It is no secret that we LOVE Chenin Blanc here at Vino Fino… almost as much as Gordon Russell at Esk Valley does. We have been eagerly awaiting the release of this ever since Gordon told us about it when he was here presenting his wines at tasting, last year. Hand harvested, wild yeast fermented – 1/2 in older oak and left on less until January this year, to add complexity. This is a very special wine.
Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"This is a single vineyard wine from the Quinn's Two Terraces Vineyard at Maraekakaho. Situated on a stony river terrace above the Ngaruroro River, this is a warm and welldrained site, benefitting also from cool nights due to its inland location. The vineyard is planted with clones 880 and 220, each of which has been utilised in the finished wine. Intensive viticultural practices including shoot and bunch thinning, along with leaf removal has been employed in the pursuit of quality.
The fruit was handpicked and whole-cluster pressed. Both clones planted were fermented separately in a mix of large old French oak Demi Muids and small tanks. No yeast was added, allowing the fermentation to be conducted by wild yeast. Given the high sugars at harvest a portion of the wine was stop fermented, to contribute a richness to the finished blend. The wine was left on its fermentation lee's with regular stirring until late January 2020, before blending and bottling.
This is a rich and full-bodied style of Chenin Blanc. It showcases the yellow fruit nature of Chenin Blanc, with notes of pineapple, quince and honey evident. The wine is complex with a small amount of residual sugar providing richness in a Vouvray demi-sec style (5.6gms rs) Delicious as a young wine, the wine will also gain further complexity with time in the bottle. Drink 2020 – 2030."
5 Stars & 95/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, April 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"This is seriously good. The gorgeously lifted bouquet shows summer peach, baked apple and toasted spice notes with a hint of beeswax. It's concentrated and wonderfully weighted on the palate, offering terrific fruit power and richness backed by velvety mouthfeel and bright acidity, leading to an impressively long expansive finish. Texturally seductive with layers of engaging flavours. At its best: now to 2029."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2019 Vintage)
"Already delicious, the 2019 vintage was hand-picked at Maraekakaho, fermented in a mix of tanks and large (600 litres) French oak barrels, and matured on its yeast lees for 10 months. Bright, light lemon/green, it is full-bodied and fresh, with vibrant, ripe, tropical fruit flavours, a subtle seasoning of oak, finely balanced acidity, excellent complexity and a powerful, very harmonious finish. Drink now or cellar."
5 Stars Yvonne Lorkin, April 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Returning to his dry-style roots not seen since 2013, winemaker Gordon Russell has taken fruit for the first time from Ian and Linda Quinn’s Two Terraces Vineyard located west of Hastings in Maraekakaho where they grow two clones of chenin, 220 and 880. Handpicked, cooled overnight and gently pressed to French oak demi-muids (600ltr) and tanks for wild yeast ferments. Left of lees for 10 months, with regular stirring to encourage extra richness and complexity in the Esk Valley ‘way’ for white wines like this. I love the yellow fruit notes, golden delicious apple, quince, pear, yellow plum and its creamy, honeyed core. The acidity is ultra-fresh, yet the overall texture is one of fatness and volume and deep satisfaction."