Tasting Matawhero Wines with Kirsten Searle

On Tuesday evening at Decanta Tapas Bar in New Plymouth, Kirsten Searle visited from Gisborne, and presented eight of the new generation Matawhero wines to club members, and what a lovely evening was had by all.

“Established in 1968 by Bill Irwin, Matawhero Wines defied convention and made wines of boutique standing and international acclaim and in doing so, changed the face of New Zealand winemaking forever. Since its first vintage in 1975, Matawhero has produced many excellent and often adventurous wines.

Following in Bill’s pioneering footsteps, son Denis imparted his own colourful style and won fame for his Gewürztraminer – everyone was drinking it, even the Queen.

Today, revived by the Searle family, Matawhero is true to the founders’ determination, producing individualistic wines of world class standard.

Purchased by the Searle family in 2008, the 15 hectare Matawhero Estate needed revitalising and replanting. The old Matawhero Cellar Door at Riverpoint Road reopened in November 2008 and faithfully portrays that idiomatic character the brand is so much loved for. This heritage label now lives on…”

For a full history of Matawhero click here… http://www.matawhero.co.nz/about

Kirsten is a great presenter and is most certainly passionate about Matawhero and the wines produced – she led us through each wine briefly with information on the vineyards, vines, processes and wine characters without getting too technical, leaving us to smell, sip and enjoy each wine.

As usual, four matching Tapas were served with some of the wines – you have to visit Decanta to try some tapas, and try something interesting from their wine list. Here are my notes from the tasting.

Matawhero 2017 Single Vineyard Pinot Rose

Pale salmon in colour, fragrant strawberries and cream with a hint of spice in the nose, soft acidity, quite Provencale in style with a lovely dry finish. 100% Pinot Noir 13.5% $RRP: $22.00 Gold medal at the recent BRAGATO WINE AWARDS


Matawhero 2017 Single Vineyard 2016 Gewurztraminer

Bright lemon gold, sweet nose of spice ginger and lychees, lovely textured wine with similar flavours as exhibited in the nose, succulents and beautifully balanced wine. 13.4% RRP $22.00

Matawhero 2015 Church House Albarino

Soft lemon straw, clean nose of stone-fruit and citrus, lemony – grape-fruity palate with tart citrus / zingy acidity and a dry moreish finish. 13.5% RRP: 25.00

Matawhero 2016 Church House Chenin Blanc

Pale straw / gold in colour, floral citrus and apple notes in the nose, and nicely textured & full flavoured with stonefruit, citrus & honey on the palate, lovely dry finish 13.1%   RRP: $25.00

Matawhero 2016 Single Vineyard Chardonnay

Pale golden, Lots of stone-fruit and a whiff of butterscotch in the nose, lovely textured body,  peaches and cream, fresh rounded and juicy palate and long finish.  13.8% RRP: $22.00

Matawhero 2016 Church House Chardonnay

Pale gold in colour, rock-melon, peach and toasty butterscotch oak in the nose, full bodied wine with a nice grapefruity acidity & rich fruit on the palate, great length: 13.4% RRP: $25.00

Matawhero 2016 Single Vineyard Merlot

Bright cherry red in colour, red berries, dark plum flavours, toasty oak & savoury notes in the nose, very well structured, full bodied with concentrated fruit but with softer tannin / acid balance. Really elegant… 13.3% RRP: $22.00

Matawhero 2015 Church House Malbec

Deep red coloured, aromatic nose of blackerry, dark fruit, spice and a little herbal hint. Rich, layered palate of plum, more dark summer berries, fine tannins, subtle oak and a big ripe finish. Just beautiful & my fave wine of the evening. 13.1% RRP: $26.00

All in all – 8 excellent wines and incredible value too – most are available from Glengarry, Liquorland, Super Liquor stores and some supermarkets.

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