2011 Esk Valley Chardonnay Hawkes Bay (Elsewhere $20+)
*Editor's Choice* 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.
RS 0 g/l. Dusty lemon. Creamy texture, light oak flavour. Touch of char on the palate. Firm, dense and still fresh. (JH)
Esk Valley is a unique small winery in Hawke's Bay that has a long history of producing distinctive and characterful wines from their excellent assortment of estate vineyards scattered across this exciting region. This is a rich, yet elegant, style of Hawkes Bay Chardonnay exhibiting ripe stone fruit and melon characters intermingled with hints of butter, grapefruit and subtle oak. The wine is round and soft in the mouth with a long complex finish. The fruit for this wine is sourced from vineyard sites in various sub-regions of Hawkes Bay. Vineyards in the north at Bay View provide the ripe tropical fruit flavors while sites on the terraces above the Tutaekuri River add a more flinty, grapefruit note and provide juicy natural acidity. This is an exceptional value in everyday Chardonnay!