93 POINTS | NZ Wine Rater
If this isn't consistently the best value red wine produced in Hawke's Bay, we'd love to know what is.
The 2017 was Michael Cooper's red wine Buy of the Year. The 2018 won the Trophy for Champion Merlot Dominant Red at NZ's second largest wine show. The 2019 was named in Andrew Caillard MW's Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection (AVS). The 2020 has just been released and it's another stunner so we're waiting with baited breath to see what this remarkable wine wins next.
Given the humble price this amazing wine sits at, it's pretty clear that something very special is going on here and the 2020 is another excellent vintage of this absolute giant-killer of a wine.
Winemaker Gordon Russell is the master of making wines of finesse and easy drinkability at Esk Valley and this 2020 merlot cabernet malbec is no exception. It's rich and full-bodied with soft dark berry and cherry flavours on the palate. It's also quirkily sealed in a clear / flint bottle which we absolutely loved. Sensational buying. A must try wine for any fan of good Hawke's Bay red.
Vinted from Cabernet Sauvignon 61%, Merlot 26% and Malbec 13%.
The winery writes "This is a rich and full-bodied Gimblett Gravels blend. Densely coloured, it has a bouquet of dark cherry, blackberry, dried herbs and cedar. It is soft and generous in nature and can be enjoyed as a youthful wine, but possesses sufficient tannin to age gracefully for many years."
NZ Wine Rater writes "Classic, intense, primary, blackcurrant, cranberries and pencil shavings on the nose with a hint of red capsicum. An elegant, well-made, medium-bodied, supple style with pure fruit and excellent drinkability. However there's a layer of chewy, mouth-filling tannins that will match food and ensure reasonable longevity."