Te Mata is the oldest legal winery in New Zealand and have been making wines off their estate vineyards since 1896. This wine is drawn from one of those ancient estate vineyards in Hawke’s Bay. We’ve offered their Sauvignon Blanc before, but unlike most wineries in NZ, Te Mata is actually known for making the best Red wines in the country.
Their ridiculously high quality across the board is what earned them statements such as Decanter calling them, “New Zealand’s First Growth” and Robert Parker, Jr. calling them “New Zealand’s greatest winery.”
Their Awatea is one of the wines that really set these guys apart. It’s a gorgeous Cab dominant blend that comes in at 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. It is the sister wine to the most famous Bordeaux blend in NZ, the Coleraine. It’s a super vibrant Bordeaux blend with a fantastic price tag. The combination of aromas and flavors from these grapes harnessed together by 16 months of French Oak aging making this a serious and seriously smooth blend that punches well above its modest price tag.
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95 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
“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.”
93 Points, James Suckling
A blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, 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.