Esk Valley Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2007

I confess I loved many of the Hawkes Bay reds tasted on my last visit to New Zealand, so I’ve been keen to try a few more this visit. Whilst Gimblett Gravels Syrah is a spectacular style and very appealing me, tonight I’m trying a Bordeaux blend, which is historically more typical to this region.

Lovely bright purple colour, not overly dense, almost garish in its purity. On the nose, sweet red fruit and a distinctively Gimblett Gravels spice that reminds me of pot pourri. There’s a nice savoury edge to the fruit too. The more I sniff the deeper the aroma profile becomes, adding layers of complexity as I swirl. Very nice. The palate is currently highly structured with ripe yet very assertive tannins emerging quite early in the line. On entry, more bright fruit that edges towards confectionary but is held in check by spice and savouriness. Then the tannins come, powdery and even, masking the flavour profile a bit. That’s ok though, all it takes it some energetic swirling and chewing for a rush of fruit to register on the tongue, along with a well-judged amount of vanilla oak. It’s medium bodied, consistent in line and coherent. Reasonable finish.

A lovely return to Hawkes Bay.

Esk Valley
Price: $NZ30
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: December 2008

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