Esk Valley - Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc 'Winemaker's Reserve' 2018

$68.00
Sale price

Regular price $68.00

WINEMAKER'S COMMENT

This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's finest red wines with a pedigree that stretches back to 1990. The wine is deeply coloured and mouth-filling with firm but supple tannins. Black olive, cherry, red plum, sage and dried herb flavours are complemented by an overlay of cedar from barrel maturation.

This a complex and age-worthy wine.

IDEAL DRINKING

2020 - 2035

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Sauvignon Predominant - Royal Easter

Show Wine Awards 2020

91/100 - Decanter World Wine Awards 2020

VINEYARD

This wine is a blend of grapes grown in the stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels. The

vines in the Cornerstone and nearby Ngakirikiri Vineyard were planted between

1994 and 2014 and cropped at low levels to produce grapes of the highest possible

quality. Intensive viticultural practises such as shoot thinning, leaf plucking and

bunch thinning were all employed over the course of the growing season.

WINEMAKING

The individual parcels were hand-harvested and destemmed to open-topped concrete tanks for fermentation with wild yeasts. Once active the ferments were hand plunged to gently extract colour and tannin. After a period of post-fermentation maceration on skins, the ferments were pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for a further 16 months in French oak before bottling in December 2019.

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Esk Valley

Esk Valley has come a long way since Sir George Fistonich purchased the historic Glenvale Winery from the Bird Family in 1986. From a time when ports and sherries ruled the market, Esk Valley began forging a reputation for its innovative and quality wines. Under winemaker Gordon Russell, Esk Valley broke boundaries introducing new grape varieties and new wine styles to Hawkes Bay.

From the original historic cellars in the north of Hawkes Bay to Esk Valley’s new purpose-built winery within the confines of the renowned Gimblett Gravels, Esk Valley continues to produce a collection of wines regarded amongst New Zealand's finest. Utilising a very traditional and hands off approach including concrete fermenters for the finest parcels of red grapes, Esk Valley continues to build on its reputation.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Hawke's Bay

Sunny Hawkes Bay is along the eastern coast of New Zealand's north island. It is here where some of the most fruit-forward wines come from. They are known for their tropical Chardonnays and their juicy reds from the excellent Bordeaux wines to the peppery Syrahs. 

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

WINEMAKER'S COMMENT

This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's finest red wines with a pedigree that stretches back to 1990. The wine is deeply coloured and mouth-filling with firm but supple tannins. Black olive, cherry, red plum, sage and dried herb flavours are complemented by an overlay of cedar from barrel maturation.

This a complex and age-worthy wine.

IDEAL DRINKING

2020 - 2035

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Sauvignon Predominant - Royal Easter

Show Wine Awards 2020

91/100 - Decanter World Wine Awards 2020

VINEYARD

This wine is a blend of grapes grown in the stony soils of the Gimblett Gravels. The

vines in the Cornerstone and nearby Ngakirikiri Vineyard were planted between

1994 and 2014 and cropped at low levels to produce grapes of the highest possible

quality. Intensive viticultural practises such as shoot thinning, leaf plucking and

bunch thinning were all employed over the course of the growing season.

WINEMAKING

The individual parcels were hand-harvested and destemmed to open-topped concrete tanks for fermentation with wild yeasts. Once active the ferments were hand plunged to gently extract colour and tannin. After a period of post-fermentation maceration on skins, the ferments were pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for a further 16 months in French oak before bottling in December 2019.

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Esk Valley

Esk Valley has come a long way since Sir George Fistonich purchased the historic Glenvale Winery from the Bird Family in 1986. From a time when ports and sherries ruled the market, Esk Valley began forging a reputation for its innovative and quality wines. Under winemaker Gordon Russell, Esk Valley broke boundaries introducing new grape varieties and new wine styles to Hawkes Bay.

From the original historic cellars in the north of Hawkes Bay to Esk Valley’s new purpose-built winery within the confines of the renowned Gimblett Gravels, Esk Valley continues to produce a collection of wines regarded amongst New Zealand's finest. Utilising a very traditional and hands off approach including concrete fermenters for the finest parcels of red grapes, Esk Valley continues to build on its reputation.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Hawke's Bay

Sunny Hawkes Bay is along the eastern coast of New Zealand's north island. It is here where some of the most fruit-forward wines come from. They are known for their tropical Chardonnays and their juicy reds from the excellent Bordeaux wines to the peppery Syrahs. 

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.