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.
Te Mata Estate - 'Te Mata justly lays claim to being the oldest commercial winery in New Zealand. They also produce two of the nation’s iconic wines, the Coleraine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that exhibits the best characteristics of a stylish Bordeaux with ample New World power and exuberance, and the rich and elegant Elston Chardonnay. The intense and structured Te Mata Bullnose Syrah is a personal favourite, as is their light and refreshing Gamay Noir. 'Shine, John H. Isacs, Shanghai, September 2020 All Reviews