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Sileni Estates ‘Nano’ Wines

By October 2, 2014No Comments
It has been four years in the making, and now Sileni Estates in Hawke’s Bay has released ‘Nano’ wines, these being small-serve bottles made from advanced PET polyrethylene terephthalate packaging. The new generation material is a multi-layer plastic which is essentially leak-proof, unbreakable, absorbs UV light and protects from oxygen, these being enemies of wine earlier materials were less than successful at doing. It’s all good for having wine in a convenient, recyclable and safe way, especially where glass is impractical. There are additional benefits from the softer, lighter packaging in their reduced cost and energy to manufacture, and the wine has a shelf life of up to two years.

The outdoors lifestyle doesn’t mean that wine quality needed be compromised by having wine that isn’t up to bottle quality or detrimentally affected through its packaging. It’s easy for a wine enthusiast to think less of these wines as being not very serious, especially when one talks about 90+ point and gold medal winning examples, but Sileni’s chief winemaker Grant Edmonds reminded me “don’t you like to have a glass of wine at the beach, on a picnic or at the end of a day tramping?” Yes, there’s a time and place for every wine, and it is good to avoid being a wine snob!

Sileni ‘Nano’ offers three styles, all in single-serve 187 ml PET bottles, which incorporates a clip-on glass as part of the design called a ‘DUO package’. The wines are a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir and a French Pays d’Oc Grenache, all bottled by Sileni’s joint-venture partner Paul Sapin at La Chapelle de Guinchay in Burgundy. They are all labelled at 12.5% alc. and the wines have a RRP of $5.00 per bottle. www.sileni.co.nz

The Wines
Here are my impressions of the wines. I note the wines are not vintaged, and thus I have not rated or scored the wines. The wines are all commercially acceptable and easy drinking, showing the correct style and varietal characteristics. The wines will deliver all that is asked of them in the situations where they’ll be consumed.

Sileni ‘Nano’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc NV
Bright, very pale straw colour with youthful green hues. The nose is light with fresh gooseberry and grassy aromas in the cooler spectrum, but there is good intensity and this is definably Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Dry and light-bodied, the palate is mouthwatering with fresh gooseberry and nettle flavours, and crisp racy acidity. There’s a little phenolic texture and grip,, and it’s certainly not pressy. This is attractive, up-front and true to style.

Sileni ‘Nano’ Pays d’Oc Grenache Rosé NV
Bright salmon-pink colour, pale on edge. The nose is very light in expression with delicate strawberry and red berry fruits along with some herb notes. Clean, simple and fresh. Dry to taste, the flavours are light, more nuanced than fruity, but the palate carries some vinosity and presence. There’s good acidity and liveliness, and the textures are in the background. A wine drink for sure.

Sileni ‘Nano’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir NV
Light ruby-red colour with some garnet, and some depth. The fruitiness is restrained, but positive and varietal with gentle dark raspberry fruit and a little floral lift. Some spicy nuances show too. This is identifiably Pinot Noir on bouquet. Altogether shyer and on palate in fruit expression, but this has good weight and presence. Some dried herb notes indicate a little development. The tannins are modest and this is soft and accessible.

Sileni ‘Nano’ and the DUO glass, with regular glasses in the background
Which would or could you take on a picnic, to the beach or to an outdoors concert?


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