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Treading an admirable line between power and poise, this is a dense, rich and black-fruited syrah. For all its considerable presence on the palate, the wine never feels heavy thanks to fresh acidity and perfectly integrated alcohol. Decant before serving to enjoy its cornucopia of cracked black pepper, plums, violets and mocha to the full.
Product Code: NZ9851
View all products by Te Mata Estate Winery
New Zealand’s historic Te Mata Estate is located in the Hawke’s Bay region. Vines were first planted in 1892, Its renaissance began in 1978 when it was taken over by current owner John Buck. Under Buck’s direction, Te Mata quickly earned a reputation for producing some of the country’s best red and white wines, made from Bordeaux varieties and chardonnay. More recent plantings of gamay and viognier have also proved successful in the favourable Hawke’s Bay climate, where they ripen beautifully. The estate flagship wine is Te Mata Coleraine, in honour of the home of John Buck’s late grandfather in Northern Ireland. The first Coleraine was made in 1982 and created an instant sensation within New Zealand for unsurpassed quality. Originally a single vineyard wine, it is now a blend of the finest cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc from 30 different plots within the Te Mata Estate. It has enough potential to develop in bottle for 15-20 years. Other notable labels are Awatea Cabernet-Merlot, Bullnose Syrah, Elston Chardonnay and Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc. The winemaker since 1994 has been Peter Cowley.
Still a baby when compared with other regions, New Zealand has quickly earned a reputation for top-quality wine. New Zealand might be a relative newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had fewer than 400 hectares of vine) but its rise to pre-eminence is extraordinary. The precise, pure flavour of its wines has captured the attention of wine drinkers; Society sales certainly reflect this.The country’s two islands cover a vast area from north to south (it is often quoted in wine books that if New Zealand was in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris). The maritime climate is influenced by the strong prevailing winds of the Pacific Ocean and the striking mountainous terrain. These factors give the islands a wide range of growing conditions; broadly speaking, the regions of the North Island tend to be warmer than the cooler South Island.The cool New Zealand climate offers real opportunity for aromatic varieties like sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and gewurztraminer . Of the latter three, young plantings mean many styles rely more on sugar than fruit, which we avoid buying. But the very best share the intensity and palate weight of great Alsace examples with vibrant, lifted flavours. South Island’s Marlborough region is the benchmark setter for the former, and there are many pungently aromatic sauvignons that are stunning. Look out, too, for some of the exciting sub-regional wines – the Awatere is Marlborough’s coolest valley, now making really attractive, delicate and grassy wines, and Nelson across the hills is yielding superb wines from quality conscious producers like Neudorf. The first sauvignon blanc vines were planted in Marlborough around 30 years ago, when most farmers were raising cattle or growing fruit. The wines have since taken the world by storm. Farms have been replaced by vineyards, and today, chardonnay and pinot also flourish in Marlborough’s cool climate. The choice is sensational, so is the consistency in quality. However, Marlborough is not only about sauvignon blanc and there are crisp, juicy chardonnays and ripe but balanced pinot noirs of excellence.Further south is Central Otago, in the centre of the island. Pinot noir is something of a speciality here, though on the wrong site it can have difficulty reaching full maturity in this continental climate. The best seasons produce the country’s most dazzling examples of the grape, full-flavoured and superbly pure, and the greatest wines of this scenic region are in high demand around the worldThe north island also boasts excellent wine regions. North of the city of Auckland there is the Bay of Islands where a unique microclimate helps winemakers produce some wonderful reds, and the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River Estate, specialising in rich but elegant chardonnay, can be found just north-west of New Zealand's biggest city. Waiheke Island, just off the coast close to Auckland, also produces some excellent wines.Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island covers an extensive area of rolling hills, a sweep of coastline and the sharply dominant Te Mata Peak. The warm climate successfully ripens red grape varieties, the very best grown in the gravelly alluvial soils of the Gimblett Gravels appellation. Syrah is now adding its name to the roll call of successful varieties like cabernet and merlot. Chardonnay is well established here too, and the area makes some of New Zealand’s fullest and ripest examples.Close to Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island is Martinborough, arguably New Zealand’s most exciting area for pinot noir. The long growing season is particularly suitable to the slow, gradual ripening that this Burgundian grape so enjoys.
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