Te Mata’s latest releases
Te Mata doesn’t send samples to wine critics, or at least not to me, so it is necessary to attend their annual offering of new releases in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. I was unable to make it this year but finally managed to review the range at the Te Mata winery with winemaker Phil Brodie on hand to provide background information.
I understand that 2015 Te Mata Coleraine (NZD $129) is already out of stock at the winery, although still available in magnums, an excellent format for a wine with such obvious cellaring potential.
We started with 2017 Te Mata Estate Sauvignon Blanc, an agreeable Chablis-like style that’s fine-boned with a touch of salty mineral character. (NZD $23)
Then to the barrel-fermented 2016 Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, which had significantly more weight and richness as well as a helping hand from semillon (9%) and sauvignon gris (4%). (NZD $30)
That was followed by 2016 Te Mata Zara Viognier, which I consider a real steal at this price. Viognier seems to be in decline, at least in this country, which I think is a pity when I come across a fully ripe and delicately succulent wine like this. (NZD $30)
The 2016 Te Mata Elston Chardonnay, is another good buy for a sophisticated premium wine in a tight and tangy style. I’d be tempted to let it sit in the cellar for 2-3 years before opening. (NZD $34)
I’ve never been a huge fan of Te Mata Gamay Noir but enjoyed the zesty, easy-drinking style of the 2016 Te Mata Estate Gamay Noir despite its slight lack of concentration. (NZD $23)
The 2016 Te Mata Estate Syrah is a good value “go to” red, although this normally early-drinking style would benefit from a little bottle time or a rich red meat dish to mellow slightly grippy tannins. (NZD $23)
I’m a long-time fan of Te Mata Bullnose and awarded an enthusiastic 96 points to 2016 Te Mata Bullnose Syrah. It’s a supremely elegant syrah offering a welcome change to the more blockbuster styles from the Gimblett Gravels district. (NZD $75)
The 2016 Te Mata Estate Vineyards Merlot Cabernets is a well-made, fruit-focused red that’s in fine form now but no rush. (NZD $23)
The 2015 Te Mata Awatea Cabernets Merlot is closer in quality to Coleraine than its price would suggest. A serious wine at a frivolous price. This gets my vote for “best bargain.” (NZD $34)
Finally, the 2015 Te Mata Coleraine won’t disappoint Coleraine lovers, even at its reassuringly expensive price. It’s surprisingly accessible right now but promises to become a Coleraine classic. (NZD $129)