The Circle Semillon 2011
Semillon in Hawkes Bay could have been the next big thing, but
as Grant admitted, it never quite happened. However Sileni have persevered,
making small amounts for those of us who appreciate the style. A burnished lemon
gold colour in the glass this has aromas and flavours of fresh herbs and
pineapple. A subtle mineral hint with good palate richness emerging. 25% barrel
fermented (older oak) to give weight and texture and 1/3 malolactic to add
creaminess. The wine will age well - I had a 2004 about a year ago and it was
still fresh as and delicious. It is a wine that not many people are aware of,
and yet when they try it, love it.
Retail $33.99 Special $24.99
Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Much more conventional in style. International
demand required Sileni to invest in Marlborough as a source of Sauvignon Blanc
grapes. This is their top tier Sauvignon, coming from the best blocks with lower
crops. A finely textured, quite elegant style with the flavour spectrum focused
around ripe gooseberries.
Retail $24.99 Special $16.99
The first gewurztraminer from Sileni.
Moderate weight, this has quite intense 'smokers lollies', musk characters along
with citrus hints. A dry style.
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The Lodge Chardonnay
This new 2014 release is a beauty! Hand picked fruit, whole
bunch pressed fermented in French oak with 100% malolactic. Nothing too funky
here, just good old fashioned, creamy richness. The citrus/nectarine fruit
flavours combine with creamy caramel, biscuit (caramel slice?) on the palate.
There is a smoothness on the palate whilst retaining plenty of structural
interest and drive.
Retail $34.99 Special $24.99
Pinot Noir 2013
This Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir caused a bit of a
stir earlier in the year when it took out the Pinot Noir Trophy at the Sydney
Top 100. Sileni have the biggest plantings of the variety in Hawkes Bay and
obviously have managed to get a reasonably good handle on it. A medium colour
intenisty, with the red fruit spectrum being dominant and very aromatic. A fine,
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Basket Press Syrah 2013
Redmetal is Grant's own label. This is the
first release of the Basket Press label Syrah. Impressive on the colour and
aroma and very inviting. There is chocolate, some meaty, gamey, charcuterie
flavours backed by fine mixed spice on a fulsome, quite dense palate.
Retail $34.99 Special
Redmetal Basket Press
Merlot Cabernet Franc 2013
For the 2013 vintage this is virtually
all Merlot - Grant put a splash of Cabernet franc into the blend just so he
could keep it on the label. Like the Syrah, this is a dark, dense wine; the ripe
fruits balanced by an almost saline-like acidity (no it's not salty!). My
descriptors were - richness, density, flowing, enveloping, plush ...
Retail $30.99 Special
The Triangle Merlot 2013
me, this was the surprise wine of the night in that I didn't know how good it is
and certainly a big step up from previous releases that I can recall. Again this
has beautiful ripe fruit encased in lightly dusty tannins. Black cherry, plum
fruits with a good density on the palate. An excellent Merlot.
Retail $27.99 Special
Cut Cane Merlot 2013
style for Sileni, this is based around the Italian Amarone, however instead of
drying the grapes on mats to increase grape sugars, the vines are cut when the
fruit is ripe and the grapes allowed to shrivel and concentrate. Picked at
around 27 brix, the result is a wine with super-richness. The alcohol is also
increased (15.5+%) Flavours are tending to bitter chocolate, fruit cake with
big, feathery tannins. Not for the faint hearted!
Pourriture Noble 2014 375ml
This is from a small block of fully
botrytised Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Marlborough. Left to rot after the
rains in 2014 vintage, the sun eventually returned and the grapes became fully
botrytised to 46 brix. Only 4 tons was picked (some sheep ate the rest). At
250gms/l , this is like ultra-sweet lemon curd with a fine cut of acid running
through the wine. Luscious, yet fresh.
Retail $32.99 Special $24.99