FIVE STARS, 93 POINTS | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
91 POINTS | Bob Campbell MW
Esk Valley’s Artisanal range 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 just-off-dry interpretation of the classic grape of France’s Loire Valley. Partial barrel-aging in seasoned oak and plenty of lees stirring has added a lovely texture to this wine, which shows apple, citrus and almond flavours sitting over a palate that brims with fresh acidity and some subtle herbal hints. A few grams of residual sugar brings those flavours out to play while some minerality on the finish leaves you feeling refreshed and looking for more. This charming chenin blanc really is a delight. Highly recommended.
Bob Campbell MW writes "Intensely fruity chenin blanc with pineapple, apple and a hint of honey flavours supported by taut yet juicy acidity. Very accessible now but should develop well with bottle age, at least in the medium-term."
Sam Kim writes "Splendidly styled and expressed with ripe apple, apricot, subtle spice and rich floral aromas, it's succulent and fleshy in the mouth offering excellent fruit intensity backed by bright acidity, finishing lingering and mouth-watering."
The winery writes "This wine reveals classic Chenin Blanc notes of baked apple, citrus and honey. It is dry in style with a full and rich palate, enhanced by long term ageing on yeast lees. It is delicious as a young wine but will gain complexity with time in the bottle."