A little Matakana magic
Matakana’s reputation was launched with the good and occasionally brilliant merlot-dominant wines of Antipodean and later Providence. I recently hosted a New Zealand wine tasting in Macau. The star-studded line-up of wines included a 2003 Providence, which was the hero of the tasting. If I’d tasted the wine blind I would have picked it as a beautifully mature and distinguished Pomerol. The man sitting next to me was so enthusiastic about the wine that he pledged to buy every bottle he could lay his hands on whatever the price.
Matakana’s northerly position means that careful grape or bunch selection is needed when the region is hit by moist tropical cyclones during the ripening season but if the weather is kind great wines can result.
Both 2010 and 2013 were particularly favourable Matakana vintages. I was not surprised to discover that Takatu’s merlot, cabernet franc and malbec blends from both years were exceptionally good wines.
The 2010 Takatu Merlot Franc Malbec is showing the benefit of bottle age with a mellow texture and enhanced complexity. The wine is deliciously drinkable now but promises to reward further cellaring (my “drink to” estimate of 2020 is conservative). (NZD $45)
2013 Takatu Merlot Franc Malbec is a more intense and structured example of the style. It is elegance on a grand scale and, although a little hard to read right now, should develop magnificently with bottle age. It may prove to be the better of the two wines in the long haul. (NZD $45)