Unison Selection 1998 Hawke's Bay

Unison Vineyard's Selection is an undesignated red wine. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Unison is located in the Gimblett Road area of the Hawke's Bay region. Gimblett Road is achieving special designation status similar to Rutherford Bench or Stag's Leap district in Napa. While Gimblett Road is the common reference, it is actually the "Gimblett Gravels" soil in the flood plain of the Ngaruroro River that makes the wines.

As is our custom, we opened the wine before dinner for tasting while meal preparation is underway. The wine was deeply colored in a plummy red. My initial impression was that the wine, while having a good extraction and solid current, black cherry flavors, overall it was rather austere. Well, first impressions can change. After the bottle was open for forty-five minutes and in the company of the meal, the wine was suberb. For the meal we had a braised brisket of beef with vegetables and the wine was delicious. At US$30 in DC, you may find some better values with South American wines or the lesser known Californians, but Unison is a solid bottle of wine that competes well in the mid-range of Cabs.

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