Esk Valley Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon – just announced as Michael Cooper’s Best Buy Red Wine of the Year in his latest Wine Buyer’s Guide for 2019! Think of it as the NZ wine bible. He slurps his way through over 3,000 wines (tough job right?) and at the end picks his overall best value white and red.
Coops said “A wine of excellent, four-and-a-half-star quality, on sale widely at a very modest, three-star price: that’s how I see the Best Red Wine Buy of the Year, the latest vintage of a long-term favourite from Hawke’s Bay….I’d usually expect to pay around $30 for a Gimblett Gravels red of this standard, but its ‘normal’ price is about $20″
It’s a place. It’s a winery. It used to be called Glenvale (not to be confused with Gloriavale!) but we now know ’em as Esk Valley Estate.
Built in 1933 by an Englishman (Robert Bird) who produced fortified wine from the 30s through to the 70s until the Esk name was created for a premium range of table wines. These days owned under the umbrella of the highly successful George Fistonich, the man behind Villa Maria Estate, although they do operate as an independent winery with their own winemaking team and vineyards.
Esk Valley source grapes for this red blend entirely from the world famous Gimblett Gravels. It’s Merlot (49%), Malbec (26%), Cab Sauv (19%) and a cheeky 6% splash of Cabernet Franc in there too. A medium to full bodied rich red full of dark, spicy berry fruit flavours and supple tannins.
Put simply – one of the best value Hawke’s Bay reds around. If there’s a better wine for the Sunday lamb roast this for this kind of money we’d love to see it!