Esk Valley Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
The fruit for this wine is sourced from vineyard sites around the Hawkes Bay. Vineyards in the north at Bay View provide the finished wine with ripe tropical fruit flavours while sites on the terraces above the Tutaekuri River at Puketapu add a more flinty, grapefruit note. These sites also provide a natural acidity to the blended wine. Shoot thinning, leaf plucking and bunch thinning are all practiced in these vineyards in the pursuit of quality.
This is a full bodied yet elegant style of Hawkes Bay Chardonnay exhibiting aromas of peach and melon intermingled with hints of butter, grapefruit and French oak spice.
Wine Enthusiast - "This terrific value delivers roasted cashews and grilled peaches in a remarkably elegant, restrained package. It’s just-right in terms of weight on the palate, neither too light nor too heavy, with a crisp, citrusy finish. Editors' Choice"
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com - "Medium yellow color; dried, brown leaves and peach fuzz in the nose, very good depth; medium bodied, lively on the palate; dry, nice acidity, well balanced; lively citrus and apples in the flavors; medium finish. "
Esk Valley Winery
The Esk Valley winery is situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels – one of New Zealand’s most distinctive wine regions – as well as Marlborough. Both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality. Esk Valley is famous for its premium cult wine "The Terraces", which is only released those years when the terraced vines on the banks above the winery produce an exceptional vintage. You don’t have to dig deep to get the picture – the soil; uniquely stratified layers of shell, hard clay and volcanic ash are clearly visible in the terraced hillside. The sheltered north-facing slopes possess a mild micro-climate well-suited for the production of high-quality grapes. These stunning vineyards, with a breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, can be viewed from the cellar door.
Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the people at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way. Winemaker Gordon Russell has established himself as one of New Zealand's most recognized winemaking personalities with his passionate approach to winemaking, and the enormous success he has achieved with his wines in tastings and competitions. Gordon believes that the concept of 'texture' in a wine is as important as the aromas and flavors of the wine. By 'texture' he means the balance and harmony of the wine, together with complexity and palate interest. Hand-plunging with wooden plungers is one of the manual techniques he employs in his pursuit of texture – a method used only by a fraction of New Zealand wineries. Old-school winemaking results in wines with old-world flavor profiles – and with a suave, perfumed Sauvignon Blanc, a very Burgundian Chardonnay and a very Bordeaux-like red blend, Esk Valley offers something different than many other New Zealand wineries. View all Esk Valley Wines
About Hawkes BayView a map of Hawkes Bay wineries
Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine region, following Marlborough. The area is known for its shmorgasborg of different microclimates and soils. Gimblett Gravels, while sounding like a character out of Lord of the Rings, is a soil and a district in the area. Gimblett Gravels are a gravelly mix that absorb and retain heat, much like the soils of Graves in Bordeaux or Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone.
Notable FactsChardonnay is the most planted grape variety here, and makes some excellent, usually un-oaked, wines. Sauvignon Blanc from the region are some is the best from the North Island. In addition, many winemakers are throwing their hat in the Bordeaux Blend ring, taking advantage of long sunshine hours and Gimblett Gravel soils by growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Syrah is also planted around the area and the reds are frequently blends. A few winemakers are making Pinot Noir from the cooler parts of Hawkes Bay.
About New ZealandThe country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.53.6 out of 5 stars
7 ratings, 1 with reviewdavidSF - San Francisco, CA21/27/2017Anonymous - Pleasant Hill, CA29/19/2016hi_jase - Redmond, WA39/15/2016Anonymous - South Bound Brook, NJ48/20/2016Bonnie J Gearou - Minneapolis, MN57/17/2016Anonymous - Philadelphia, PA43/25/2016gwendolyn - Oakland, CA45/4/2015
One of my favorite Chardonnays for the price. Hard to find under $20 Chardonnay that does not have a "bite" on the finish. This is rounded and balanced, with a delightful match of fruit & oak and fantastic acidity to keep it refreshing.
- Fruity & Smooth