Tasting Reviews

Sileni ‘Cellar Selection’ 2018 Cabernet Franc Rosé and Syrah, and ‘Straits’ Sauvignon Blanc

It was announced last week that Sileni Estates in the Bridge Pa Triangle was sold to Booster Tahi, the investment business of the Booster KiwiSaver provider. Already under the Booster Tahi umbrella are the Awatere River Wine Co. and Waimea Estates. There is both investment capital and consolidation involved in the purchase with the most notable change being the loss of Grant Edmonds as chief winemaker. However Nigel Davies and Cairn Coghill retain their positions as white and red winemakers respectively. The winemaking, styles and brands remain the same. Here I review the 2018 ‘Cellar Selection’ Cabernet Franc Rosé and Syrah, and ‘Straits’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. www.sileni.co.nz

Sileni Estates ‘Cellar Selection’ Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc Rosé 2018
Bright, very pale candy-floss pink, lighter on the rim with a suggestion of purple. The nose is fresh with a firm and well-packed nose of redcurrants with florals and subtle notes of herbs, and mouthwatering minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated heart with tightly bound flavours of redcurrants, red floral and subtle notes of fresh herbs. The mouthfeel is refreshing with crisp acidity and the wine flows along a light, phenolic-textured, thirst-quenching line, leading to a dry, light finish. This is a crisp, dry, refreshing rosé with subtle redcurrant floral and herb flavours on a light-textured, taut, mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. Cabernet Franc fruit from the Bridge Pa Triangle and Dartmoor Valley, picked direct to press, given some skin contact and cool-fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. and 3.0 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $18.99

Sileni Estates ‘Cellar Selection’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2018
Bright, even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues. The nose is softly full with bright and vibrant primary aromas of raspberry fruit intermixed with confectionary-like and jammy whole berry fermentation elements and some confectionary, unfolding violet florals. Medium-bodied, the palate has a softly packed heart with bright and aromatic fruit flavours of raspberries and plums , dark-red berry fruits, whole-berry fermentation confectionary and florals. The fruit is up-front and accessible with the juiciness balanced by soft tannin extraction and gentle acidity. The wine carries smoothly along a rounded line, leading to a fragrant finish. This is an up-front primary-fruited Syrah with raspberry, floral and confectionary flavours on approachable supple palate. Match with pasta, pizza, antipasto and barbecued fare over the next 3 years. Fruit from the Bridge Pa Triangle, fermented to 12.0% alc., the wine given limited oak contact. 16.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $18.99

Sileni Estates ‘Straits’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with well-concentrated, rounded aromas of pungent passionfruit along with tropical fruit and fresh herb notes. This has good intensity and a softness to the depth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a soft and elegant heart with concentrated passionfruit flavours along with notes of tropical fruits and fresh herbs. The mouthfeel is gently textured with a soft line and balanced acidity. The flavours carry with moderate linearity, leading to a gentle, pungent finish. This is an elegant, soft-textured Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit flavours and fresh acidity. Match with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 4.0 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $24.99
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