Te Mata Estate Showcase 2011 – Christchurch 2 November

Te Mata Estate is a very well known brand both here in New Zealand and Internationally with Coleraine, Awatea, Elston and Bullnose the wines that stand out for most wine lovers. Around March each year Te Mata hold a showcase of the latest releases for merchants, restaurateurs and others to hear about and sample the latest vintage, along with a vertical of the Awatea and Coleraine.

Christchurch attendees had to wait until November this year due to a couple of earthquakes, but it was worth the wait. The George Hotel is a great venue for wine tastings and was certainly well appointed for this years showcase. On arrival we were welcomed with glass of Te Mata Cape Crest 2010 – a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion and Sauvignon Gris with barrel fermentation: it’s a concentrated and complex wine with a nice mineral finish.

After a lovely introduction from John Buck and Sally Duncan we mingled with others and were able to taste 3 other wines from the Te Mata portfolio:

Zara Viognier 2010, mostly barrel fermented in French oak with lees stirring resulting in a floral citrus nose, and spice apricot and honey sweetness that lingered a while afterwards.

Elston Chardonnay 2010, rich complex multi-dimensional Chardonnay with intense tropical/stone fruit mealy toasty oak notes and creamy mouth feel although still has some tight acidity that will soften with age. definitely my favourite of the 3 whites.

Lastly the Bullnose Syrah 2010 – deeply coloured, raspberries, cherries, silky tannins, elegant as always. New Zealand Syrah especially those from the Hawke’s Bay are really showing well now even against the best from Europe and this is a great example.

We all adjourned to the room next door and were seated for a formal tasting of Awatea and Coleraine, Te Mata’s flagship wines from vintages – 2005, 2007 and 2009 and after an introduction and background to the winery and wines from John we were left to chat among ourselves and taste each of the wines. Here is my take on the 6 wines.

Awatea and Coleraine lined up for tasting. Click for a larger image.

Awatea 2005: Deep cherry in color with a tiny amount of browning evident, Sweet floral nose, intense berry fruit, currants and plum on the palate with silky tannins and a long elegant finish. 89/100

Awatea 2007: Dark black cherry / magenta, aromatics of ripe berries, faint herbal/spice notes, succulent fruit concentration, slightly grippy tannins but nice oak influence, Fabulous finish. 92/100

Awatea 2009: Lighter in colour than the 05/07 I got floral and herbal/earthy/green notes in the nose, great cherry fruit but still quite tannic/acidic – too young – very front of the mouth wine. 87/100

Coleraine 2005: Loved this wine – deep dark black cherry in colour, sweet & floral in the nose followed by beautifully balanced structure with complex fine tannins, rich fruit and subtle oak. 90/100

Coleraine 2007: A bit lighter in colour than the 05, more crimson, interesting nose with blackberries. currants and what some thought was mint, but John called “Raspberry leaf”, nicely layered body of ripe fruit and chocolatey flavours with grippy tannins and elegant finish. 91/100

Coleraine 2009: Again dark black cherry/magenta in colour, a much bigger wine than 07 with floral and spicy, concentrated fruit, and a tight acid / tannin structure – with it being so young it was also very ‘front of mouth” but has potential to be fantastic in years to come. 89/100

Many thanks to John and Sally for coming down and showing the wines of Te Mata Estate – I look forward to attending the showcase again in 2012 to look at the 2006 / 2008 and 2010 releases.

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