Esk Valley 2014 Chardonnay and Merlot Cabernet Malbec, and 2013 Syrah

The Esk Valley winery has always had its own identity, and within the Villa Maria Estate group, the Esk Valley wines have always had a point of difference to the Hawke’s Bay wines from the sister Villa Maria and Vidal wineries, which can be seen as sharing many similarities. Maybe it’s the Bay View site and terroir, and maritime-influenced microclimate? Maybe it’s the 6 tonne capacity concrete fermenters, or the indigenous flora? It’s hard to really know, but the Esk Valley wines, especially the reds have a natural rugged fruitiness, not so much rusticity, but a closer expression of place. Winemaker Gordon Russell recognises the character and does his utmost to preserve it with his minimal intervention, letting the wine ‘make itself’. Here, I review the latest Esk Valley releases of the Hawke’s Bay’s region’s classic varieties and styles: Chardonnay, the Bordeaux Blend and Syrah. They all have the Esk Valley personality of being fruit focussed and expressive, and satisfyingly complete, the oaking very subtle and integrated.


  • Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014
  • Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2014
  • Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013
  • Linden Estate Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013
  • Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013

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