Selaks 2013 Reserve Pinot Gris and Merlot/Cabernet
The Selak name is synonymous with the establishment of the modern New Zealand wine industry, showing the continuance of the pioneering days of small Dalmatian family ownership at the start of the 20th century to the global, multi-national operating of the 21st century. It’s a fantastic story as in 2014, Selaks celebrates 80 years of winemaking. For me, the Selaks name brings many fond memories over the last three and a half decades, as I‘ve experienced the change from speaking to Mate Selak and working with sons Ivan and Michael, to seeing the company being sold, but eventually growing to an international brand with reach around the world. The company has undergone the pains of growth, having being bought in 1998 by Nobilos, another Dalmatian pioneer, to that company being acquired by BRL Hardy in 2000. Selaks now operates under the Constellation Brands umbrella, and much of its strength and resilience has been the ownership of good vineyards in Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay, as well the loyalty of the staff, with the Selaks group winemaking and viticulture manager Darryl Woolley being with the company since 1985, and head winemaker Brett Fullerton joining in 1992.
The Selaks range of wines is extensive, with the ‘Premium Selection’ being the most widely distributed. The ‘Premium Selection Breeze’ label offers a low-alcohol alternative. Next up is the regionally expressive ‘Reserve’ range. The top tier is the ‘Winemaker’s Favourite’ which has bottlings from high quality fruit and selected vineyard parcels. Here, I review two 2013 vintage wines from the ‘Reserve’ range, a Marlborough Pinot Gris and Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet blend, noting their representation of 80 years of Selaks wine heritage. They offer real value. www.selaks.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Selaks ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013Pinot Gris from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 08-May-2014Bright straw-yellow colour with a slight blush to the heart. The nose is softly full and voluminous with lifted aromas of exotic florals and esters entwined with tropical fruits and honeysuckle elements. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the fruit flavours of white and yellow stonefruits is initially light. Subtle exotic florals and honey notes build to provide the mid-palate with good richness. The mouthfeel is fresh with positive vinosity and balanced acidity, and a delicate textural line carries the flavours to a light, dry finish. Very bold and aromatic on bouquet, this off-dry Pinot Gris is light and gentle on palate. Match with antipasto and seafood, or serve with Asian fare over the next 3 years. Fruit from the Awatere Valley, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.3% alc. and 6 g/L RS. 17.0/20 May 2014 RRP $16.99
Selaks ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet 2013Merlot from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 08-May-2014Full, very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour. This has a gently full nose of ripe dark plum aromas intermingling with black and redcurrant notes, the aromatics unfolding with good depth and breadth. Medium-full bodied, up-front and bright fruit flavours of black plums, and curranty fruits show with freshness, vibrancy and richness. The flavours are mouthfilling and lively with ripe acidity, and follow a fine, grainy-textured line through the palate. The wine is well-balanced for accessibility, but has the grip for proper vinous structure, which carries the flavours to an elegant, spiced plum finish. This is an up-front, accessible Merlot/Cabernet blend with bright plum and curranty fruit and balanced structure. Serve with pasta, pizza, and barbecued red meat dishes over the next 4 years. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, fruit primarily from the ‘Corner 50’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged in a mixture of tank, and French and American oak barrels. 17.0/20 May 2014 RRP $16.99