What’s in the glass tonight May 8th

Hawkhurst Merlot Malbec 2007

Hawkhurst Estate Vineyard Reserve Merlot Malbec Hawkes Bay 2007 – $$

Wow, I saw this 2007 sitting on the shelf at a local convenience store. I thought, what’s this doing here?  It’s a bit old I thought…’07 was a good year for reds in the Bay…Bio-dynamic producer…I wonder what it tastes like…?

I bought a bottle. The label was that kind of label that is a bit old-skool. Almost anti-design, with odd typeface choices and justification, and the colours, and gold trim. I’ve seen this wine around a few times, but have never been tempted to buy. It was often priced cheap-ish, and kinda looked cheap too. But maybe it’s like those old European wines that have old-fashioned labels, and are hiding a magical taste behind a boring exterior? Let’s see…

12.5%. The wine looked quite light-coloured in the glass. Rhone-like. Tawny. It displayed an old nose too. Again Rhone-like. This is looking up! I thought.

Then I drank some. Soft, stalky and thin in the mouth. Oxidised. Unwelcome tertiary characters. There was some beauty to be seen, but the bottle was way past its best. Badly cellared? I tipped it down the sink. Ho-hum.


What’s in the glass tonight May 6th

Sileni Syrah HB 2013

Sileni Cellar Selection Syrah Hawkes Bay 2013 – $

Sileni wines have had a bit of a run at ours recently. There was this syrah, and a merlot earlier, and L regularly buys their Cabernet Franc Rose, which is too sweet for me to cope with.

12.5% alc. Deep plum colour. Attractive soft and fruity nose, quite fragrant , with blossom scents and vanilla and cedar.

Ripe blackberry fruit flavours.. A medium-bodied, straightforward Syrah. Hot on the finish. Mid length. I score it a bit higher for its nose. It had enough guts to hold up well the next day, and the mild pepper note in the wine complemented the spice in our beef satay dinner.

BTG 3+

Sileni HB Merlot 2013

Sileni Cellar Selection Merlot Hawkes Bay 2013 – $

A bottle bought to throw in the casserole.Some of it. I drank the rest. Soft and ripe black plum flavours is all I can recall, but that is generally the case for Merlot. Held not as much inherent interest for me as the Sileni Syrah, but still, well made and good quaffing value.

BTG 3+

New Zealand’s 24 Pinot Noir Appellations

Interesting info here..


New Zealand has six regions whose names (appellations) appear on pinot noir wine labels. This article proposes there are another eighteen sub-regions/appellations within the original six that could/should appear on the labels. And that there will be many more in the years ahead. It’s a perspective from an engaged visitor from Canada, not an NZ industry insider. Grab a glass, crack the cap on an NZ pinot and read along.

by David Lawrason, WineAlignMay 6, 2015


 David Lawrason David Lawrason

In the past two years I have been to New Zealand three times, drawn not by sauvignon which I do enjoy, but by pinot noir. During three weeks in 2013 I visited six pinot noir growing regions, 35 wineries and capped it with the four day NZ Pinot 2013 conference in Wellington. I tasted at least 300 hundred pinots and I became familiar enough with the range to suggest that…

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What’s in the glass tonight – a Tale of Two Esks

Esk Valley HB Chard 2014

Esk Valley Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2014 – $

Ever since R brought us over a bottle of this producer’s Chardonnay last year I have seen it as a good low-cost and dependable Queen of Wine for everyday drinking.

From the latest vintage: yellow straw, 13.5% alc, lightly fragrant with notes of pears lemons and apricots.

The wine is leaner than the 2014 Church Road. Flavours of citrus, Golden Delicious apples. Very moreish, again.

BTG 3+

Esk Valley Merlot CS Malbec 2013

Esk Valley Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

Lovely inky colour. Rich and mouthcoating. Tannic, drying from the Malbec component in the blend, and showing deep black stonefruit. Great structure, and showed really well on the second night. Very flavoursome. A good cellar wine.

VG 4

Straight to the Pool Room – April 2015


Several welcome additions:

Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay Martinborough 2012 – $$$ – drink 2015-2017. Lovely loveliness. As endorsed by Decanter. Because Chardonnay.

Esk Valley Merlot Cab Sav Malbec Hawkes Bay 2013 – $/$$ – drink 2018-2028. Cellar worthiness for low low dollars.