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Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Jul 29, 2015
Vino Fino

From the tastings - Sileni & Redmetal

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Sileni and Redmetal with Grant Edmonds        

This week we had Grant Edmonds, winemaker for Sileni Estate Hawkes Bay present wine from both Sileni and his own label Redmetal. Sileni Estates was established in 1997 by Sir Graeme Avery in the Redmetal district of Hawkes Bay. Since that time Sileni has grown into one of New Zealand's bigger wineries, with most of the production being exported. Whilst 'home' is still definitely Hawkes Bay, Marlborough plays a big part with the production of Sauvignon Blanc. Grant established his wine-making credentials whilst Chief-winemaker at Villa Maria. After a brief stint at Alpha Domus, Grant has been with Sileni since their inception. In 1996 he also established his own label, Redmetal, focusing on the Merlot grape and although the wines are marketed alongside Sileni's and there are a lot of synergies at play, they are produced quite independently. We looked at some of the current release wines - 2013 vintage reds and a range of whites. The profiles of both wineries is relatively small in NZ, but these are wines well worth seeking out.             

Sileni and Redmetal with Grant Edmonds        

This week we had Grant Edmonds, winemaker for Sileni Estate Hawkes Bay present wine from both Sileni and his own label Redmetal. Sileni Estates was established in 1997 by Sir Graeme Avery in the Redmetal district of Hawkes Bay. Since that time Sileni has grown into one of New Zealand's bigger wineries, with most of the production being exported. Whilst 'home' is still definitely Hawkes Bay, Marlborough plays a big part with the production of Sauvignon Blanc. Grant established his wine-making credentials whilst Chief-winemaker at Villa Maria. After a brief stint at Alpha Domus, Grant has been with Sileni since their inception. In 1996 he also established his own label, Redmetal, focusing on the Merlot grape and although the wines are marketed alongside Sileni's and there are a lot of synergies at play, they are produced quite independently. We looked at some of the current release wines - 2013 vintage reds and a range of whites. The profiles of both wineries is relatively small in NZ, but these are wines well worth seeking out.             

  Vino Fino

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


The Straits 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

G 2 Gewurztraminer 2013    
The first gewurztraminer from Sileni. Moderate weight, this has quite intense 'smokers lollies', musk characters along with citrus hints. A dry style.
Retail $37.99    Special $29.99


The Lodge Chardonnay 2014
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

The Plateau 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, floral style.     
Retail $37.99    Special $24.99

Redmetal 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 $31.99


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 $27.99

The Triangle Merlot 2013
For 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 $24.99

Cut Cane Merlot 2013
A new 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!    
Retail $47.99    Special $34.99

EV 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‚Äč