Region: Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Varietal: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc
Tasting Notes: Critic Acclaim: "This is an excellent bottling of Awatea, the younger brother of Te Mata's top red, Coleraine. From a long, warm growing season, this feels like a complete wine. Winter warming notes of plump plums, dark cherries and chocolate are complemented by a bounty of dried herbs, spices and graphite. The palate is similarly dense and structured but with elegance and balance. Tannins are powdery and fine, winding through dark, tangy fruit and herbs. Like many of Te Mata's wines, it has an old school Bordeaux vibe that will appeal more to some than to others. Christina Pickard" - 95/100, Wine Enthusiast
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92/100 The 2018 Awatea Cabernets-Merlot is a bit leafy on the nose, with herbal, tobacco-tinged aromas accenting cassis and black cherries. It's medium to full-bodied and supple on the palate, finishing long, silky and mouthwatering.
Pairing: Grilled and roast lamb with garlic and rosemary. Roast beef, veal and venison. Steak pies. Stews cooked in red wine. Steak, especially richer steak dishes. Roast duck - even Chinese-style crispy duck pancakes. And of course, ooey gooey Mac n’ Cheese! This French Onion Macaroni and Cheese by Ali Slagle takes two of my favorite comfort foods and combines them into a cold night, bordeaux style sipping, powerhouse of a combo!
About: Te Mata Estate Winery originated as part of Te Mata Station, a large pastoral land holding established by English immigrant John Chambers in 1854. His third son, Bernard, influenced by the comments from visitors that the hills were suitable for grape growing, planted vines in 1892. Wine was made from those grapes in 1896, establishing Te Mata Estate as the first winery in New Zealand to make a century.
Te Mata Estate is one of the Hawke's Bay's more renowned – and historic – wine producers. It makes a range of wines from classic varieties like Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, but is best known for its Bordeaux blends, and in particular Coleraine, which is one of New Zealand's most collectable wines.
Te Mata, named for the neighboring Te Mata Peak (Te Mata O Rongokako), was established in 1896.
Te Mata has vineyards throughout the Hawke's Bay. The estate itself is in the Havelock Hills, and has around 15 hectares (37 acres) worth of vines across five vineyards just outside the town of Havelock North. These are on north-facing slopes with free-draining alluvial soils, and are well-suited to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
There are numerous top wines in the portfolio including the Bullnose Syrah, the Cape Crest barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc, Elston Chardonnay, and Awatea, a Bordeaux blend.
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