‘Coleraine is one of the few NZ wines that I have multiple bottles of in the cellar. A wine that is every bit New Zealand’s ‘First Growth’, with a history that dates all the way back to 1896 and a reputation for unwavering consistency.

Named after the original vineyard planted to the same proportions as Chateau Margaux, Coleraine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Before 1989 it was a single vineyard wine, after that a blend of grapes from across the Te Mata Estate vineyards.

For this vertical, the wines were all either purchased at auction (with some bottles topped up if necessary) or from the wine program cellars and checked before the tasting at Te Mata Estate. That attention to detail meant that there were no bad wines in this vertical. Just glory. Please world, make every vertical like this.

Notes are as written on the day and we went through the wines v. quickly so they’re pretty rough impressions. Still, there is no disguising the pleasure of so many of the wines here. Hawke’s Bay goes to Bordeaux indeed.

Personally, I prefer the moderate years, the best wines are so varietal yet they’re ripe and layered too. Sometimes large verticals are a chore and you find yourself stuck in a trough when winemaking fashions change. But this collection was punctuated with pleasurable wines so regularly that it was a joy.’

Coleraine ’16
95 Points

Less ripeness, more coiled power. Reminds of the composure of the ’14. Bound up in oak but the kicker is the acid feels natural. More elegance and a real perfect smoothness here. Really generous in its round appeal and seamless tannins. Very fine. One of the best.

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