4.5 STARS 91/100 | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
93 POINTS | Cameron Douglas MS
Introducing Esk Valley’s 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 Villa Maria group of companies. They’re clearly aimed at the discerning drinker, but are very modestly priced given the quality they offer.
This is a soft and generous Hawke's Bay Syrah. Those red fruit flavours are in full force and extended ageing in oak has introduced underlying spicy notes and added complexity. This is drinking well now but you'll be rewarded for tucking a case away for a few years.
Sam Kim writes "Pristine and elegantly perfumed, the wine shows sweet plum, raspberry, floral and mixed spice aromas, followed by a beautifully rounded palate offering youthful fruit intensity and fine-grained tannins. Elegantly composed and expressed with a lengthy succulent finish."
Cameron Douglas MS writes "A very enticing bouquet of ripe red berry fruits - raspberry and black cherry, some red licorice and soft pepper spices. A core of fruit flavours on the palate reflect the bouquet accentuated by tannins and a back bone of acidity. Delicious, fresh, youthful and taut. A lovely example with best drinking from late 2022 through 2029."
The winery writes "The wine is medium to deep red, with aromas that showcase the red fruit elements of Hawkes Bay Syrah, including raspberries with undertones of wood spice and pepper. In the mouth the wine is mouth soft and generous with flavours like the nose of red berries and jam, with an underlying acidity providing elegance and length. Delicious as a young wine it will also reward cellaring."