• The 1890s to a Modern Project: Stories of Pinot Noir on Te Mata Vineyards

    Te Mata Estate pioneered Hawke’s Bay pinot noir in the 1890s, producing a small amount for the winery’s first vintage in 1896.

    The vineyards were in the Havelock Hills, and the grapes hand-harvested and vinified in the same buildings we use today – the oldest operating winery in New Zealand. The quality of the first pinots immediately drew recognition, selling quickly and capturing the attention of international wine writer Romeo Bragato.

    ‘Mr Chambers, of Te Mata, has a small vineyard of Pinots and a quarter-acre of Black Hamburghs, which are doing well. Here I tasted some beautiful wine…’

    Romeo Bragato, Report on the Prospects of Viticulture in New Zealand

    ‘At the end of a busy first day, one vat was filled with pinot, another with the first of the claret.’

    Bernard Chambers Daybook-Diary 1896

    After much consideration, a twenty-year project was established in 1999 at an elevated, inland site specially chosen by the Te Mata Estate winemaking team. Having worked in Burgundy for Domaine F & L Saier, the owners of Domaine Saier in Mercurey and Clos des Lambrays in Morey-Saint-Denis, winemaker Philip Brodie oversaw development. Small production wines have been periodically released to favourable critical attention. Again their quality was immediately recognized, in the US by the Wall Street Journal and in the UK
    by Jancis Robinson.

    Te Mata Estate’s commitment meant that long-term research and development could continue being undertaken to create even greater depth and finesse in these wines. In 2019, we are excited to release the culmination of a story that, like the estate itself, has been 125 years in the making.

  • ‘Te Mata Triumphs over the Weather’ – Michael Cooper @ The Listener

    When Te Mata Estate – where the first wines flowed in 1895 – unveiled several of it’s 2017 whites and 2018 reds I was looking for the signs of challenging vintages. the good news is that the 2018s look delicious young and the Coleraine ’17 is as classy as ever.’


    Since the debut 1982 vintage, Coleraine has stood out for its fragrance, complexity and subtlety.This is a full-coloured, mouth-filling red with notably concentrated, well ripened blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, braced by firm tannins, and impressive harmony.

    Read the review PDF here…

  • Coleraine Collection sets New Record Price for New Zealand Wine at Auction

    ‘The auction of a unique collection of Te Mata Coleraine not only made a stir within the wine media, it also made the record books.

    The result, which saw the 32-vintage collection of Coleraine fetch $19,000, left Te Mata Estate’s sales and marketing manager Toby Buck smiling.

    The news raced across the winemaking and wine media landscape with Fine & Rare Wines specialist Marcus Atkinson noting that the result had effectively made it two records in a row for Te Mata Estate. In 2016 a Coleraine vertical collection went for $6,500 under the hammer at an auction in Auckland. It equated to $195 a bottle and became the largest single wine collection and overall auction price for any New Zealand wine.

    “Until now,” he said.

    “At almost $600 a bottle this is the highest auction price achieved for any collection of New Zealand wine,” he said of the recent auction staged in Napier as a build-up to the Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction next month.

    The result came as no surprise for many wine writers, including several from across the Tasman. Huon Hooke of Australia’s The Real Review described Coleraine as ‘a great wine from the very first vintage’. Andrew Graham of The Australian Wine Review said Coleraine possessed a reputation for unwavering consistency. ‘Please world, make every vertical like this.’

    Earlier this month The Australian featured a profile of Te Mata Estate and described its Coleraine as ‘a beautifully elegant expression of Hawke’s Bay that has cemented its reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest wines’.

    Coleraine connoisseurs and devotees have only a little over four months to wait for the next addition to the globally-lauded line.’

    Read the full article at the NZ Herald here…

  • ‘Discovering the Ageing Potential of Hawke’s Bay: Te Mata Coleraine Vertical’

    ‘Some would say that Te Mata’s Coleraine was the first true iconic wine of New Zealand. The first vintage of Coleraine caused a stir when it came in 1982 but it wasn’t without a precedent. Te Mata Estate had already been making well-respected wines for many years before and the estate, whose first vintage was in 1896, is in fact the oldest winemaking property in New Zealand. It is partly due to Te Mata’s long history and experience that Coleraine was celebrated quite early on as one of New Zealand’s finest wines. But also because Coleraine hit the nail on the head in terms of combining grape variety with terroir and proved that Hawke’s Bay, and indeed New Zealand, was capable of making world class red blends.

    Te Mata Estate has many different soil profiles and mesoclimates in their vineyards. Varying degrees of alluvial gravels, silts and sand make up the vineyard soils and parcels each have different exposures, slopes (or plains) and mesoclimates. This, in combination with the different grape varieties, is what the family believes gives them an advantage in making red blends. “The absolute strength of Bordeaux blends is in different varieties and different soils, and that’s where we started,” explains Toby Buck, the second generation of the family to run Te Mata Estate. “But it is also really about the people that put these wines together, who made them what they are.”

    Read more at ‘Around the World in 80 Harvests’…

  • Andrew Graham MW, Australian Wine Review: ‘NZ First Growth’ September 2018

    ‘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.

    Read the full article here… 

  • Coleraine Vertical 1982-2016 with Air New Zealand: Rockpool Sydney August 2018

    This month Air New Zealand showed two vertical collections of Te Mata Estate wines at exclusive events in Australia. The first was a twenty-five year vertical of Bullnose Syrah in Melbourne, the second a thirty-five year Coleraine vertical served at Rockpool in Sydney. Promoted as ‘one of the most historic tastings of two of New Zealand’s greatest wines’ this was a rare, and invite-only, chance to taste collections seldom seen on the international market.

    A perrenial part of the Fine Wines of New Zealand, Bullnose and Coleraine have both been selected by a panel of judges since the programme began. A vertical of Coleraine was prevsiouly used to benchmark the inital judging of New Zealand’s finest wines. 

    Comments by Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh from The Wine Front on specific vintages have already been uploaded to the reviews and wine sections of this site. All new review material will be linked to here shortly.

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