Hawke's Bay winery Selaks is celebrating its history with the launch of 1934 – a range that marks the year its story began 85 years ago.
With a long-standing reputation for crafting distinctive quality wines, Selaks 1934 is a premium range of Hawke's Bay wines crafted to celebrate the year founder Marino Selak sold his first vintage and to honour the winery's tradition.
Head winemaker Brett Fullerton, who has been part of the Selaks extended family for 28 years, said the release of the wines was a perfect time to fill a spot in their range.
"This collection showcases the taste of Hawke's Bay wine. It is also a celebration of our history.
"The 1934 is crafted for the modern palate while paying homage to Selaks' winemaking tradition.
"As one of New Zealand's earliest wineries, Selaks is steeped in tradition and expertise, coupled with a thirst for winemaking excellence that has been passed down through many generations.
"The winemaking team is committed to producing consistently elegant wines that reflect our heritage and honour our founder, while still appealing to today's wine consumer and their taste preferences."
The year 1934 is when founder Marino Selak sold his first vintage. Shortly after, in 1939, Marino's nephew Mate arrived from Croatia to join the business and was involved until the 1980s.
Selaks has it origins in Auckland, moving to Hawke's Bay's Bridge Pa Triangle in 2005.
Fullerton, who started as a cellar hand, says he loves living in the Bay.
"It's just brilliant. I'm a keen mountain biker so it is amazing to be able to walk out the door and ride up Te Mata Peak. I think the Bay has a reputation as bit of a mecca for cycling."
He said it's been a privilege to craft a wine that symbolises Selaks' humble beginnings and celebrates the preservation of quality and tradition.
"We have a funky app free to download from Google Play Store or Apple Store for an interactive experience tasting notes and food pairing advice, as well as stockist details."
He says being a winemaker is a broad role. "There's a bit of everything, certainly some science, lots of creativity, art, trade and profession."
His favourite wine to make and drink is Chardonnay because there are "so many different ways to put your stamp on it".
With the push to buy local, Brett says you couldn't get more local than this range with the Rose, Chardonnay and Merlot grapes grown on the vineyards immediately surrounding the winery. For the Sauvignon Blanc he looked to the cooler more elevated Crownthorpe area, 30km inland.
• Selaks 1934 Chardonnay
A smooth and creamy texture with well-integrated toasty oak characters and a long lingering finish. Ripe stonefruit on the nose is complemented by notes of brioche and
vanilla. A delicious pairing with chicken or a creamy pasta dish.
• Selaks 1934 Sauvignon Blanc
Rich and tropical with delicious citrus notes. Features a crisp, refreshing palate showing
tropical fruit with lemon and lime flavours. Great with fresh New Zealand seafood.
• Selaks 1934 Rosé
Light and bright aromas of watermelon with berry fruit and floral notes. An elegant, finely
flavoured palate with crisp natural acidity, fresh berry flavours and a dry finish. Enjoy this
wine with an antipasto platter.
• Selaks 1934 Merlot
Rich and mouth-filling with a superb balance between fruit sweetness, acidity and tannins. A long finish with soft tannins, spice and dried herb complexities. Exhibits an intense, fruit forward nose of ripe plums and black fruits, complemented by sweet, spicy oak notes. Savour this wine alongside a lamb dish.