Esk Valley ‘The Hillside’ 2013


The Esk Valley ‘The Terraces’ is a unique representation of the 1 ha of vines on the terraced hillside overlooking the former winery in the Bay View district of Hawke’s Bay. Winemaker Gordon Russell took the approach of co-fermenting equal proportions of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the result since its first vintage in 1991 has seen the rise of one of the great red wines of New Zealand. The wine is powerful, rich and individual. (Click here to see my review notes of the 2013-2015 vintages tasted in September last year.)

In 2016 Esk Valley released their inaugural ‘The Hillside’ wine, from the 2010 vintage, ostensibly the second label to the iconic ‘The Terraces’.  The 2010 ‘The Hillside’ has been well-received, I’ve rated it around the 5-stars mark, noting it to be of a more robust style (click here to see my review).

In the exceptional 2013 Hawke’s Bay vintage, Gordon reports that the yield of the Merlot was relatively abundant.  Rather than making a ‘The Terraces’ wine which was Merlot predominant, he decided to use this fruit to form the basis of a ‘The Hillside’ wine.  The resultant wine is two-thirds Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc and a little Malbec.  As with the first ‘The Hillside’ wine, this will be released with around 5 years bottle-age on it.  Here is my review of the new wine.  www.eskvalley.co.nz


  • Esk Valley ‘The Hillside’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec 2013

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