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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Te Mata Estate - Hawkes Bay - New Zealand

Peter Cowley - immaculately presented winemaker - of Hawke's Bays Te Mata Estate was in town recently. I took the opportunity to catch up with Peter and taste through a range of current releases. Thanks to Te Mata distributor red+white for the opportunity.

Notes are as written on the day, minor touch-ups and lyrical flourishes the only additions.

Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 13% $23
Vaietal: gooseberry, grassy, fresh aromatic herb (thyme). Good acid balance; crunchy acid on show - freshness; touch of texture and long on the finish 92

Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 14% $29
Peter Cowley: In the mid-90s all barrel ferment; 85% SB with a touch of Semillon. Bone dry, fruit there - touch of structure (Peter).
Barrel work evident here; softened the aromatics, creamy with vanilla flourishes. Cream, vanilla, whiff of smokey note and flinty touches. Again, softer proposition. Long on a finish with crunchy apple acid. 93/4

Te Mata Estate Chardonnay 2013 13.5% $28
One third is b/f, a third goes through malo. It's clean, stone fruit, citrus - classic Chardonnay. Touch of barrel work evident there; closed - bit of spice (cinnamon) and vanilla; citrus to sharpen up the palate. Finishes clean, bit of meal and stone fruit. 90/1

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2013 14% $38-40
Oak here more evident, touch of toast; meal, melon, bread/patisserie. Barrel work, fuller of body, stone fruit (grilled), touch of phenolic/ texture - not overly ‘fruit some’ - but that’s no bad thing IMO. Good length, full and pretty broad. 92/3 

Te Mata Gamay Noir 2014 13% $23
About 50% whole bunch, a week in tank and then into old oak for three months - bottled.
Carries that floral, cherry, soft berry aromatics (redolent of some carbonic) with that gummy/berry character, touch of herb. Soft, berry character on the palate too - also a touch of structure/ grip present. More than just your easy-going ‘booj’ or nouveau Gamay. Some intent. Good lingering cherry finish. 91/2

Te Mata Estate Syrah 2013 $23-25
Sees a splash of Viognier, into 15% new oak for 12months. Sourced from a couple of different vineyard plots, some younger vines (planted about 2001/2). Berry, touch of spice - clove and cinnamon in the main; Structure, core of tannin that weaves its way through the palate; graphite, tannin - powdery/chalky - comes on toward the back palate. A veritable bargain at mid-$20s 91+

Bullnose Syrah 2013 $50
Off of a single vineyard, about 25 y.o., 30% new oak - 16m in barrel. Briar, red fruit, cedar oak; rub of sandy tannin, beautiful graphite tannin structure, framework to age. Cassis, fine/powdery tannin on show here - superb wine. 94

Merlot/Cabernets 2013 14% $25
Plum, berrie, hints of pencil shaving oak; powdery tannin, again structure here is exquisite. Tannin seems to firm up in the mouth. 93+

Awatea Cabernets/Merlot 2013 13.5% $42
Approximately 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and the balance being Cabernet Franc. Cedary oak here, chocolate and vanilla creme; sweeter floral flourishes tone down the bass a little. Tannin here finer, lovely chalky rub; acid touch of present - tannin drives the length, builds - it’s all about structure. Exquisite for sub $50 92/3

Coleraine 13.5% $90
Tighter, less expressive; A little like your grandpa’s study with rich wood, tobacco, old leather - you want to relax into this. Tannin seems finer again, exquisite, again structure; chocolate coated berries, length, intensity, power. Tightly coiled - think 20 years minimum. 95+

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th February, a Root day
Source: Tasting
Price: $ As stated
Alcohol: As stated

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