‘Good things come to those who wait.’
That’s the motto at Seresin, the Marlborough-based winery that prouds itself as an uncommon, ‘new world winery with an old world approach’.
Actually, they’re not that uncommon as there are plenty of makers in Marlborough who embrace minimal intervention wine production and organic grapegrowing (like Churton, Te Whare Ra, Hans Herzog, Fromm etc). But Seresin are one of the largest, and, by extension, the biggest organic and biodynamic wine producers in New Zealand.
What’s great about these wines, for mine, is that there is a sense of individuality. Wild yeasts across the range, slow ferments and later release dates are rarities in Marlborough, and particularly for anyone who producers large volumes of Sauvignon Blanc (as aged Sauv is like wine sales poison). Here, however, they produce wines that are infinitely more interesting – and thus delicious – than much of the Marlborough masses.
Conversely, what this lineup sometimes struggles with is the challenges of variability – which you could argue is the trade off for a less interventionist approach. Again, I’d take interesting wines over safe and flavourless any day.
These were all tasted in one very quick session. Extra bits are includes in italics.
Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Amazing that this can be had for sub $20. Wild fermented and spends six months on lees in tank.
Passionfruit aplenty, in a riper textural style with less grass and more stonefruit. Much more weight through the middle than you normally see at this price and a very solid drink. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, NZ$19.
Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Includes 5% Semillon which was aged in barrel, with 10% of the Sauv also sent to barrel for 9 months.
A step up after the Momo, the hint of barrel creaminess giving this an extra layer. Has even more peach fruit, though more width too. Lovely modern Sauv, in a generous, but not flabby style. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.5%, NZ$24.
Seresin OSIP Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The OSIP range have no added preservatives. Picked earlier than the other Sauvs and spent just 2 months on lees in tank.
A little oxidative edges to this, just a hint of width. It’s not unpleasant but it feels rather less complete and charismatic compared to the other Sauv, the definition a step behind and the finish flat. Not for me, though appreciate the intention. 16/20, 87/100. 13.5%, NZ$24.
Seresin Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011
From a few lower cropping vineyards in the Wairau. 100% Sauvignon Blanc and deliberately held back.
A riper style, with only a very small barrel fermented portion. A rather neutral wine all things said, there’s some background passionfruit in amongst the development with a sour edge. Good intensity, but it feels more on the downward slide, the complexity apparent, though at 14.5% the balance doesn’t feel right, with a broadness that doesn’t fit. I also don’t get why you’d release this with bottle age. 16.8/20, 89/100. 14.5%, NZ$38.
Momo Pinot Gris 2017
Picked over several days. Some barrel ferment and some skin contact.
Fresh and zippy, it’s an easy wine to like, the fruit understated. Easy drink. No alarms, if just a little light. 17/20, 90/100. NZ$19, 12.5%
Seresin Pinot Gris 2016
40% barrel ferment. Six months on lees in old oak.
It’s still an understated Gris style, but some nice peach/pear fruit and has freshness. Pleasant, has flavour and carry. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.5%, NZ$24.
Momo Rosé 2016
3 months in old oak. 100% Pinot Noir.
The first ever rosé from Seresin! Pale salmon, it’s a lovely delicate style this nails the freshness factor with just a little strawberry fruit. You’d be forgiven for expecting this to be more expensive as it is the complete package. Yum. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13%, NZ$19.
Seresin Memento Riesling 2011
20-25g/L RS. Mature wholly in tank.
Marlborough can make delicious off-dry riesling and this is a beauty. Hints of marmalade in amongst a field of toast. This has a lovely expanse of flavour to it – still taut grapefruit underneath, the sweetness/acid balance just superb and lots of flavour. Excellent! 18.5/20, 94/100. 9%, NZ$24.
Momo Pinot Noir 2016
4-5 weeks on skins. 11 months in mainly older oak.
Great colour. Really vibrant. What a bargain! This is so juicy, the tannins a proper support act, the intensity just excellent. Really serious for the dollars. Bargain early drinker but more depth than that. Winner. 18/20, 93/100. 13.5%, NZ$24.
Seresin OSIP Pinot Noir 2016
No added sulphur, 4-5 weeks on skins. A little bit more protective with time in variable capacity tanks and then 11 months in old oak.
Excellent colour given it sees no added SO2. A different shape to the Momo, the oxidative edge giving this more of an openness, but also blunting the freshness and definition just a little. Nice enough, but the Momo kills it.. 16.8/20, 89/100. 13.5%, NZ$28.50.
Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2014
A blend of all three vineyard sites. Similar time on skins to the OSIP, with 10% new oak.
Despite the modest alcohol this feels like a big, almost brutish wine. Redcurrant aplenty, with sap and bacony edges – it’s a moody and quite autumnal wine, the surprising development and a thickness through the middle. Really substantial, but still it’s a little raw to be great quite yet. Lots of power though. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 13.5%, NZ$33.
Seresin Rachel Pinot Noir 2013
15 months in barrel and sees 17% new oak, otherwise similar handling to the Leah.
Another big Pinot in the scheme of things. It’s a fuller style, the meaty edges here suggesting even more intensity over the Leah. It’s just a little forward to my palate, the finish a little hulking and the tannins drying. Very serious, but also I’m looking for more prettiness and a feels a bit hard and overworked. Still quality Pinot in its mode. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, NZ$49.