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Mr. Esk takes out trophy for flagship wine 

Esk Valley Estate added a new line to its own history book on Saturday evening in Wellington when it took out its 17th Air New Zealand Wine Awards trophy. The Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 won the Trophy in the Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend Category.

Winemaker Gordon Russell credited Viticulturist Ollie Powrie for his work in the vineyard, as well as Esk Valley owner Sir George Fistonich; “Sir George told me 21 years ago to become Mr. Esk, and finally now I think I’ve grown into the title.” Gordon also talked about the history of Esk Valley’s boutique wines, “Our wines are created in a traditional way, holding on to our historical wine making methods”.

The acclaimed Hawkes Bay winery has taken out the Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend Category more times than any other winery, confirming their reputation for this style of red wines. This also reinforces the excellent terroir quality of the Gimblett Gravels, the region from which this wine originates. Esk Valley also secured a Pure Gold medal for their 2011 Marlborough Pinot Noir.

Now into its 26th year, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards attracted 1,367 entries in 17 different classes. In addition to the 19 trophies awarded, there were 97 gold medals, 183 silver medals and 364 bronze medals awarded, bringing the total number of medals handed out to 644.