A day at The LIWF & new wines from Esk Valley

May 20, 2010

A fantastic day yesterday and the London International Wine Fair, Ros and I tasting through some great wines, including the New Wines from Esk Valley, some phenomenal wines including: the Karl H Johner range, Durif from Campbell’s of Australia,  Domaine de Pellehaut, some interesting Israeli wines, Bila-Haut wines from Chapoutier wines and a Masterclass tasting with Chateau Musar which included vintages as far back 1977. 

 
So all in all a very busy and interesting day.  I shall be updating the blog over the next couple of days with higlights from the tasting.
 
Esk Valley
 
For those of you who didn’t manage to get to our New Zealand tasting last week, we showcased a range of these great wines. As usual Ros and I didn’t get time to taste them last week, so this was our opportunity.
 
Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009. £9.75
Esk Valley wines are traditionally firmly rooted in Hawkes Bay, but winemaker Gordon Russell revelled in the opportunity to create a wine from grapes considered by many (in New Zealand) to be the finest Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the world. The grapes selected by Gordon come from the southern clays of the Wairai Valley and the Awatere Valley – an area famed for fragrant fruit. Gordon chose to make a wine that was not just another Malborough Sauvignon Blanc but one that was well and truly stamped with the Esk Valley Character. 
 
The result is a very full bodied Sauvignon, with the typical fragrant passion fruit and green leaf character associated with Marlborough. The wine shows a lovely herbaceous lime and mineral character along side the crisp, tropical fruit flavours. For fans of Marlborough Sauvignon this is definitely one to try!   
 
 
Esk Valley Chardonnay 2009, Hawkes Bay £9.75
This is the vineyard selection Chardonnay. The fruit comes from the vineyards in the Dartmoor Valley on river terraces above the Tutaekuri River; as well as a Bay View vineyard near the winery. Most of the fruit is barrel fermented in older bariques with the exception of a small parcel which is tank fermented to keep the purity of the chardonnay fruit. This had a lovely fresh lemony nose with a delicate touch of butter. On the palate, the fresh citrus fruit was crisp and lively and the delicate butter gave it a very smooth finish. Very good.
 
Esk Valley Verdelho. 2008, Hawkes Bay £10.35
This is currently the only New Zealand Verdelho available in the UK. There are only about 3 made in New Zealand.  This Verdelho is a blend of two Hawkes Bay vineyard sites. The 11 year old vines in the stony Omahu Gravels Vineyard provide the wine with a mineral infused note and flavours of orange citrus. The Joseph Soler Vineyard on more fertile silty gravels produces a richer and fuller wine style with flavours of tropical fruit. Both vineyards are intensively managed and cropped at low yields. The resulting wine is aromatic with stone fruit flavours, a hint of tropical grapefruit and a lovely mineral character.
 
 
Esk Valley Pinot Gris 2008, Hawkes Bay £10.35
This wine utilises fruit from a variety of Hawkes Bay vineyard sites. The Kaybay and Barbar vineyards in the Esk Valley in the north of the Bay are planted on river silts, as is the Johnson Vineyard on the banks of the Tutaekuri River. The Keltern Vineyard at Maraekakaho is situated on a shingle river terrace of the Ngaruroro River.!  This is a full bodied and rich style of Pinot Gris. Barrel fermentation has provided the wine with richness but without oak characters and the early picked sites has provided fresh, natural acidity to the finished blend. A delightful combination of fresh aromatics, stone fruits and pears, with a just touch of tantalising spice.
 
 
Esk Valley Riesling, 2007, Hawkes Bay  £10.35
From some of the oldest Riesling Vines in New Zealand (20 Years old) completely dry with interesting, complex flavours & aroma combining, zippy lime fruit flavours with a touch of that delicious waxy texture you get with slightly aged Riesling. This was actually one of the best selling wines from the New Zealand tasting which I am really pleased about. It is great to see Riesling getting the attention it deserves!
 
 
Esk Valley Chenin Blanc, 2009 Hawkes Bay £9.75
This is really great; it’s nice to have something a bit different on offer from New Zealand. Very dry for a Chenin, quite a precise nose of fresh apple and lemon. Again on the palate it’s very crisp and focussed with that lovely apple flavour coming though. This is very elegant and well worth a try.
 
These wines have arrived with us today, and will be available from our shop on Livery Street from tomorrow.  




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