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. Drink it over the next few years. Editors' Choice"
Esk Valley Winery
Situated in the north of New Zealand’s picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is The Esk Valley Estate winery.
The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality. 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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.