What’s in the glass tonight February 9th – Syrah


Sileni Cellar Selection Syrah Hawkes Bay 2016 – $

Deep magenta colour. 12.5% alc. A value quaffer. L quite likes their Cabernet Franc Rosé.

This wine shows simple, soft fruit on the nose, with an itch of white pepper.

Soft ripe red plum flavours, medium tannins. Uncomplicated, and finishes long. Well-made for the price.

Commended  – 84 points


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+

What’s in the glass tonight January 18th

Ohau River Sav Blanc 2012

Wellington Anniversary Weekend

There few things more enjoyable than a dinner party at home with good friends.

L and I invited several couples over for dinner in the weekend. Great food and conversation was enjoyed, washed down with delicious wine!

We enjoyed as aperitifs wines such as Sileni Cabernet Franc Rose Marlborough 2013, a favourite of L’s; the classic and perfect Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2013 provided by M&G; and a bottle of Ohau River Sauvignon Blanc Horowhenua 2012 – a softer styled, round and well balanced sav from north of Wellington.

Dry River LH Riesling 2008

With our dinner of roast chicken with olives and tarragon, D&D provided a wonderful white Burgundy – J Drouhin Macon-Villages 2012 from Beaune – lean and clean, classic restraint, a wonderful simple food wine. With the dessert of nectarines, ice cream and warm toffee sauce they treated us again with the notable Dry River Late Harvest Riesling 2008 – classic kerosene notes, golden honey and stone fruit, and that gorgeous Riesling ‘tang’. Yum.

What’s in the glass tonight June 27th

Sileni HB Chardonnay 2013

2013 Cheap Chardys: Sileni Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013 – $

Pale gold. 12.5% alcohol. Light nose of pip fruit. Not much weight in the mouth. Ripe enough, but a little thin, with citrus. Again, uninspiring in such a vintage as this. There are better examples out there to be had at the same price. 2+

What’s in the glass tonight Oct 28th

Ata Rangi Summer Rose 2013

Ata Rangi Wairarapa Summer Rosé 2013 – $$

I think of this wine as one of our local rock stars. While I am not a huge fan of rosé, I have been drinking this version on and off for over a decade.

Years ago I remember heading over the hill to Toast Martinborough (the wine festival held each November), after telling my ex “it is never cold over there so dressing light is fine”, then standing inside a chilly marquee at Ata Rangi, wearing a T-shirt and sandals and drinking this wine while freezing southerly gales raged outside!

Moving to the present-day, I have survived three intense sessions of cycling training this weekend and was feeling pretty knackered this afternoon. L is heading over to the US for a conference next week, and I’ve been saving this bottle to drink with her before she went, as I know she likes a nice rosé.

First off, it sez Wairarapa on the label. Usually it sez Martinborough. Now, I’m a bit picky and to me Wairarapa does not mean the same as Martinborough when it comes to wine provenance. At least to me, anyway. So I had a look at their website and read that the grapes for this wine come from a variety of sites: mostly Merlot from Ata Rangi’s Di Mattina block, with a bit of Mebus Syrah from Kahu Vineyard, both in Martinborough, and a little Pinot Noir from the leased Waiora Block which is about 7kms south. I guess the spread of properties meant the producers had to put the Wairarapa appellation on the bottle.

The wine looks really appealing to the eye in the afternoon sun. L sez it is like drinking jewels and rubies. It is the most brilliant pink ruby colour. 13.5%. Lovely light nose of florals and melons. Watermelon and cranberries in the mouth, and hint of red capsicum too. Medium-dry. Doesn’t disappoint. 3.5.

Sileni Cab Franc Rose 2013

Then I was offered a glass of Sileni Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

This was paler in colour – a light dusky pink. It was sweeter too, raspberry on nose and in mouth. Softer. 2.75