Esk Valley 'The Hillside' 2017
Esk Valley's 'The Hillside' is the sister to the famed ‘Heipipi The Terraces' and is sourced from the same eponymous prestigious vineyard. The Hillside is a poised and thought-provoking blend of Malbec (40%), Merlot (27%) and Cabernet Franc (33%) that offers another view of the limestone and seashell laden soils of the unique Terraces vineyard. The individual vineyard parcels were hand-harvested and destemmed to a single 85-year old concrete fermenter. The fermentation was gently managed with hand plunging and a period of maceration followed to soften tannins and add complexity. The new wine underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak barriques and then given a further 18 months ageing. The wine was then bottled without fining and filtration. Offering red fruits, plum, dark cherry and spice with earthy tobacco and cedar notes adding further complexity. The wine is soft and mouth-filling with well-ripened tannins and although approachable as a young wine should continue to develop complexity for many years to come.