Te Mata Estate Awatea Cabernets Merlot 2018
Beautiful Cab Merlot Cab Franc Blend. 95 points “structure to age and develop for many years.” Huon Hooke.
Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate remains family owned, producing internationally recognized wines exclusively from its Hawke’s Bay vineyards. The Estate’s ownership varied frequently until John and Wendy Buck acquired it in 1978. John and Wendy instigated a twenty-year development program, which commenced with the restoration of the original winery building and the replanting of all of the original vineyards, as well as the acquisition of new vineyard sites.
The range of temperature and soil types, allied with the rainfall band between 650-850mm, create conditions to produce high quality wines of a classic range akin to those of coastal, central and northern France. Te Mata wines are similar in weight and balance but with unique lifted floral and fruit aromas.
Te Mata winery has been ranked ‘Top Winery in New Zealand’ evidenced by the consistent quality of the Coleraine and Awatea Cabernet Merlot wines, the Bull Nose Syrah and the Elston Chardonnay.
Awatea takes its name from the historic ship SS Awatea (a Maori word meaning “Eye of the Dawn”) that sailed the Auckland – Sydney – Wellington route in the late 1930s. The Awatea was requisitioned as a troop transport in WWII and was sunk off Algeria in 1942.
First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot blend. Floral aromas with intense blackberry, currant and dark plum flavours lead to a rich, supple palate with a sustained finish.
The 2018 Awatea is 54% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot, 12% cabernet franc. The separate parcels of grapes were destemmed before a traditional warm, plunged fermentation and extended maceration on skins. The resulting wines were then run to new and seasoned French oak barrels for 16 months’ ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in following January, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in October 2018.
Dark and bright, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is an inky purple with an electric crimson edge. From a warm and dry vintage, Awatea ’18 shows ripe blackberry and blackcurrant aromatics with elements of vanilla creme and sandalwood. On the palate there’s a banquet of plum, raspberry, dried herbs and lingering dark cherry, set out across cedar and cocoa powder tannins. Classical in structure, with fine balance and length, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot 2018 is resplendent in its purity and detail.
95 points, Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, February 2020 “The perfumed bouquet shows dark and purple fruit characters with warm spice, olive, cedar and floral notes. It’s splendidly concentrated and beautifully layered on the palate, delivering excellent fruit power combined with depth and complexity, finishing persistent and engaging. At its best: 2022 to 2030.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review, Feb 2020 “Very deep, bold, bright purple/red colour leads into a superbly fragrant cabernet nose of violets, cassis, cedar and tobacco, while the palate is intense and bright, focused and elegant, with abundant fine tannins but also ready drinkabilty and superb balance. An excellent Awatea, with the structure to age and develop for many years.”
94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, Oct 2020 “Perfumed with violet, raspberry, blackcurrant, lead pencil, a smattering of dried herb and paprika. It’s medium-bodied, but dense and full of flavour, fine-boned, fresh and crisp, a purple juiciness through it, and a cool feel, along with fine tightly packed emery tannin. The length is both precise and long. Beautiful svelte Cabernet of grace and class”.
RRP $55 Our Price $45.99
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|Region or Country||
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Cabernet Blend, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
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