Te Mata Winery Hawkes Bay
John Buck revived Te Mata in late 1978 (vines were first planted here in 1892) and almost immediately established it as, arguably, New Zealand’s finest. Despite greatly increased competition Te Mata is still a leading light. There has always been a coherence to the estate’s direction that has proved an inspiration to other would-be New Zealand winemakers. Production has reached 25,000 cases but the range has not expanded greatly and the quality and image of the wines has been at least maintained. The wines, made by Peter Cowley since 1994, impress for their style, harmony and elegance yet rarely lack for fruit or intensity. One wine, Coleraine, symbolises the estate; its ability to age with some grace and an appreciable mellowing of its structure is almost unique in the country. There can be a trace of greenness in cooler years but with 5 years’ age or more it is usually distinguished by soft, caressing blackcurrant, cherry and berry fruit and a long richly textured finish. Both Coleraine and the more variable Awatea are labelled as Cabernet/Merlot but include Cabernet Franc as well as Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Syrah with a stylish, cool pepper, raspberry and black fruit intensity is another star as is the barrique-fermented and aged Elston Chardonnay, long one of New Zealand’s best. Barrel-fermented Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, quite Bordeaux-like in style, is a rare fine Hawkes Bay example. A number of other estate wines are more affordable but less exciting. The Merlot/Cabernets needs a bit more oomph though the Syrah is promising. Also made is a Viognier Zara as well as a Gamay Noir.
To find out more about Te Mata and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide New Zealand..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …