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Esk Valley Great Dirt Collection River Gravel soil
EskValley GreatDirt RiverGravel MerlotMalbecCabernetSauvignon NV.psd

Hawkes Bay

River Gravel Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon

The ultimate selection from three tiny vineyard plots of greywacke river gravel, silt and sand strewn soils deposited in the wake of the 1867 Ngaruroro River flood. These infertile and heat reflective soils produce a powerful, structured wine worthy of an extended wait in the cellar.


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Tasting Notes

This full bodied complex Gimblett Gravels wine is widely regarded as being amongst the finest of New Zealand’s red wines, with a pedigree stretching back to 1989. Very deeply coloured it showcases the black fruit nature of Gimblett Gravels wines. Blackberry and dark cherry are complemented with aromas and flavours of tobacco and cedar.

Download full tasting notes: 2019

Vineyards and Winemaking

The individual vineyard parcels were hand harvested and destemmed to individual concrete fermenters for fermentation with wild yeast. A period of post fermentation maceration was employed to lengthen tannins and provide structure before the ferments were pressed and the wine run to french oak barrels for ageing. The individual barrel groups were regularly racked and returned and blended in January 2021 after 20 months ageing.

Soils And Viticulture

Selected plots within the boundaries of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District and with a long history of fine wine production for Esk Valley have been chosen for this wine. These old vines planted in deep gravels in the Cornerstone and Ngakirikiri vineyards date back to the 1990’s and early 2000s. They are pruned to short canes and cropped at one bunch per shoot in the pursuit of quality.

96 points - Andrew Caillard (GG Annual Vintage Selection)
5 stars - Michael Cooper


Hawkes Bay

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Awatere Valley