ESK VALLEY GREAT DIRT HILLSIDE MALBEC/MERLOT/CAB FRANC/SYRAH HAWKE'S BAY 19
The Hillside blend offers another view of the limestone and seashell laden soils of The Terraces Vineyard at Esk Valley's famous site, north of Napier. This full bodied velvety red leans more towards red fruit and plum than the distinctive brambly character of its sibling.
The blend here is Malbec 39%, Merlot 31%, Cabernet Franc 30%, expressing a different take on the iconic Bordeaux red wine style. It's a majestic red with smooth power and fleshy approachability, supported by firm youthful structure. It definitely has strong aging potential.
The Terraces Vineyard site was initially planted in Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc in 1989 on re-established vineyards terraces which had sat idle for 30 years. Vines are now planted at high density and dry farmed. The lack of irrigation makes the vines struggle resulting in smaller, more concentrated and flavoursome grapes.
This is a wine for the long term. Or decant and watch it open up in the glass now.