Dark and bright, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is an inky purple with an electric crimson edge. From a warm and dry vintage, Awatea ’18 shows ripe blackberry and blackcurrant aromatics with elements of vanilla creme and sandalwood. On the palate there’s a banquet of plum, raspberry, dried herbs and lingering dark cherry, set out across cedar and cocoa powder tannins. Classical in structure, with fine balance and length, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is resplendent in its purity and detail
Total acidity as tartaric: 5.9g/l
Residual Sugar: Dry
The grapes for Awatea ’18 were hand harvested from Te Mata Estate’s vineyards between 25 March and 20 April 2018.
WINEMAKING The separate parcels of grapes were destemmed before a traditional warm, plunged fermentation and extended maceration on skins. The resulting wines were then run to new and seasoned French oak barrels for 16 months’ ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January 2019, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in October 2019. The final blend is 48% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 15% cabernet franc.
Awatea takes its name from the historic ship SS Awatea (a Maori word meaning “Eye of the Dawn”) that sailed the Auckland – Sydney – Wellington route in the late 1930s. The Awatea was requisitioned as a troop transport in WWII and was sunk off Algeria in 1942.
Awatea '18 - ' The perfumed bouquet shows dark and purple fruit characters with warm spice, olive, cedar and floral notes. It’s splendidly concentrated and beautifully layered on the palate, delivering excellent fruit power combined with depth and complexity, finishing persistent and engaging. At its best: 2022 to 2030.' 95 Points, ★★★★★Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, February 2020 All Reviews