“Offering excellent persistence, structure and scent, the 2020 has knocked it out of the park. Best Awatea ever? You might be looking at it.” – Rebecca Gibb, MW – Vinous
Te Mata is one of my absolute favorite wineries from New Zealand and they continue to improve each vintage. They’re probably best known for their Sauvignon Blanc and for their Coleraine Cabernet blend (which Parker’s Wine Advocate says, “any self-respecting Cabernetphile is”), but the Awatea is making a strong push to be in every wine cellar from Christchurch to California.
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95 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
If you’re a Coleraine lover—and let’s be real, any self-respecting Cabernetphile is—then you’ll know that the Awatea Cabernet represents sensational value for the money. Slightly lighter framed and less dense/powerful than the Coleraine, and with an admirably open and lusty fruit profile, the 2020 Awatea Cabernets Merlot gives the people what they want. It leads with leafy, elegant, very fine Cabernet fruit laden with cassis, pomegranate, ferrous notes, a hint of iodine and loads of bramble and bay leaf. The palate is populated by very fine, powdery tannins that shape the flow of flavor. Gorgeous. The draw of flavor across the palate is sensational. The Merlot particularly really shines in 2020 and 2021. There’s an oyster shell and tea tree leaf character through the finish. Matured in French oak 30% new.
95 Points, Vinous
Initially tight as a monkey’s nuts, the very young 2020 Awatea needs time to open up and reveal its creamy, seductive personality. Tasted alongside the already impressive 2019 Awatea, the 2020 goes a step further in its substance, depth and ripeness. It has a rich mid-palate of sweet black currant, black olives and mint, but it’s all tremendously creamy. Underneath the lush exterior, an abundance of fine yet structured powdery tannins combine with fine acidity to provide the architecture for this intense wine. Offering excellent persistence, structure and scent, the 2020 has knocked it out of the park. Best Awatea ever? You might be looking at it.