THIS WILL GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE CHARDONNAY DEALS OF THE YEAR
94 POINTS | Cameron Douglas MS
FIVE STARS 93/100 | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
4.5 STARS | Michael Cooper
In our book this stunning chardonnay is the star of Esk Valley’s exciting new Artisanal range; a series that allows celebrated winemaker Gordon Russell to make interesting, small batch wines that indulge his personal preferences, rather than being driven by the market dynamics of being part of the wider Villa Maria group of companies.
This is a stunning wine given the humble $19.99 we are asking; in fact we would happily sell this 2020 release at double the price and still consider it to be outstanding value.
Fruit from the Bay View and Maraekakaho sub-regions were fermented in French oak barriques with 50% then undergoing malolactic fermentation. Under Gordon's skillful hand these powerhouse winemaking techniques have been used with restraint, and the result is elegant and refined chardonnay with a lovely seam of fresh minerality that runs through the palate. While this wine is understated by traditional barrel-fermented standards, it is definitely not underwhelming. As the wine builds in the mouth, a full-bodied chardonnay with creamy mouthfeel is revealed, with classic flavours in the citrus / stonefruit spectrum. A magnificent buy. Purchase your share with our highest recommendation.
Cameron Douglas MS writes "A bouquet with complexity and intrigue, depth and curiosity. Tense and youthful with flavours of white and yellow tree fruits, a touch of grapefruit, lees, mineral and spice. Excellent texture with a core of fruit surrounded by oak, fine wood tannins and contrasting acidity. Well made, but does need some time to develop more harmonious transitions. Well made and likely best drinking mid to late 2022 through 2026+."
Sam Kim writes "Beautifully composed and complex, the wine shows apricot, fig, vanillin oak and subtle flinty notes on the nose, followed by a gorgeously rounded palate offering creamy mouthfeel and elegant oak infusion, making it fabulously drinkable."
Michael Cooper writes "Instantly appealing, the top value 2020 vintage (4.5*) was harvested at two sites, at Bay View and Maraekakaho, and fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques. Bright, light lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, with generous, vibrant, citrusy, peachy flavours, biscuity, mealy, slightly smoky notes adding complexity, balanced acidity, and a finely textured, creamy-smooth finish. A very harmonious wine, it should break into full stride 2022+."