• ‘Know When to Hold ’em’ – Bob Campbell MW on Coleraine and Ageing NZ Wines

    ‘Take for example Te Mata Estate Coleraine – this highly collectable red is snapped up every year it is released.’

    Want to age that bottle, but don’t know how to store it? Or for how long? This month in Kia Ora Magazine, Bob Campbell MW writes about ageing New Zealand reds and tasting an older Coleraine:

    ‘Anyone who has held on to a special wine for a long time faces the dilemma of when to open it. I was asked about this by a friend who had stored a magnum of Te Mata Estate Coleraine 2000 since he bought it 16 years ago. It is a robust blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc.

    My heart sank slightly when he told me he’d stored it in the garage. “It’s quite cool,” he added. Variable storage temperatures cause wines to leak past the cork allowing air to enter the bottle. You can get an idea of how well an old wine has been stored by standing the bottle upright and looking at the gap between the cork and wine level. If the gap is less than 10mm there’s every chance it will be fine. As the level drops so do your chance of tasting good wine.

    Corks vary considerably too and, as a result, so does the wine in each bottle. There was a possibility poor storage or a dodgy cork had allowed by friend’s Coleraine to spoil. I suggested the wine be opened and enjoyed as soon as possible. We set a date for dinner.

    There was an air of anticipation among the dinner guests. We could be tasting a great wine, but we might be sipping vinegar. The wine level was perfect, raising hopes. A crumbly cork had our host worried, but the cork chips were easily removed with a tea strainer.

    The wine was better than I’d dared to expect. Age had given it a silken texture. It was a peacock’s tail of flavours – delicate berry and floral characters with oriental spices, cigar box, old leather and a hint of nutty oak.

    Our latest Cellaring Guide is available online, as well as our recommended storage protocols…

  • Te Mata Estate wine selection served at Dinner for Former President Obama …

    Te Mata Estate was proud to serve our wines at an exclusive dinner for former US President Barack Obama. Te Mata’s CEO Nick Buck attended the event, where Bullnose Syrah and Elston Chardonnay were poured. The wines were among a small group chosen for the event, selected to promote New Zealand’s finest – run by event co-organisers Air New Zealand.

    “It’s a great endorsement for New Zealand wine as a whole but Hawke’s Bay in particular, and the wonderful wines we grow in this region. When people select the very best of New Zealand wine, so often they end up coming to Hawke’s Bay. I think he’s come to represent an America that was very outward looking and inclusive, and extremely diplomatic in its world standing. He did tremendous thing for global trade, global peace and prosperity.”

    The dinner’s MC is poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, an award Te Mata Estate established in 1997.

    Read the full article here… 

  • 2018 ‘Vintage Dynamite’

    With an exceptionally warm, classic, long summer – Vintage 2018 gave us an explosion of flavour and colour!

    Read the technical report from Senior Winemaker Peter Cowley here

  • Meet Selina Tusitala Marsh – New Zealand’s Newest Poet Laureate

    ‘In a role established by Te Mata Estate winery, New Zealand’s latest Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh has accepted her new post with – what else? – a poem.

    The prestigious two-year post was announced in a surprise ceremony on Friday night at the tail end of the launch of her new poetry collection, Tightrope. Tusitala Marsh gave a nod to her mother, who came to New Zealand from Samoa speaking no English, as well as the recent controversy regarding Labour leader Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy plans.

    “I accept this award on behalf of Pasifika peoples/whose brown faces/aspire to higher places,” she said.

    Earlier, Tusitala Marsh – an academic and strong advocate for Pasifika poetry and literature – said the role of Laureate was “breath-giving”. She wrote her first poem – about nuclear fallout – at the age of 12. It was published in Grapevine magazine. “I remember walking through Avondale and someone came up to me and said, ‘I loved your poem’,” she said.

    Marsh wrote and performed a poem for the Queen at the Commonwealth Day Observance last year. “At 12 I thought, this was an amazing way to share your thoughts with the world.” Tusitala Marsh is now an associate professor and lectures at the University of Auckland, specialising in Māori and Pacific Literary Studies and Creative Writing.

    She described poetry as “the power of articulation. It’s the power to be able to embody language and connect with other people.” The Waiheke Island-based poet published her first collection, Fast Talking PI, in 2009. In 2010 she won both the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry, and Best First Book at the New Zealand Book Awards.

    Each laureate receives $80,000 over two years from the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa to create new work and promote poetry throughout the country. Tusitala Marsh says while she would not do anything “remarkably” different, the award would allow her to take poetry to “some pretty impressive spaces”.

    “I talk about ‘unpoeted’ spaces, where it doesn’t usually have a space or is heard or made,” she said.

    She was also given a carved tokotoko, or orator’s stick, symbolising her authority and status. Tusitala Marsh said the post was a “wonderful opportunity to extend the poetic page and stage to this nation’s multi-coloured, multi-hued voices. “To be recognised in this way is breath-taking. To occupy the role is breath-giving – I can’t wait to take the Laureate’s tokotoko to the people and make poetry.”

    New Zealand’s first poet Laureate was Bill Manhire in 1996 and the outgoing Laureate for 2015-17 is C.K Stead.’

  • Decanter UK names Te Mata Coleraine ’98 New Zealand’s First ‘Wine Legend’

    Coleraine ’98 has been named a ‘Wine Legend’ in the August Issue of UK’s top wine magazine Decanter, placing it amongst other wines more than ten times its price.

    Garnering immediate international praise, Coleraine ’98 was available for $75 at release and today sells for more than $250. Previous Decanter Wine Legends include Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ’78 ($6,500), Château Haut-Brion ’29 ($3,500), Château Lafite-Rothschild ’59 ($3,300) and Ridge Monte Bello ’70 ($1,200).

    Describing Coleraine as ‘the most avidly collected of New Zealand red wines’, Decanter’s piece has already prompted feedback to the winery from Coleraine fans worldwide. (See attached.) Te Mata Estate’s Nick Buck commented:

    “This is lovely recognition for Coleraine and for Coleraine collectors everywhere. I’m sure they’ll love knowing they’ve got such great wine in their cellar. Of even greater importance to us is the connection that it gives them, back to the unique people and place that produces such an outstanding wine.”

    In 2016, Decanter’s Master of Wine Andy Howard described Te Mata Estate as ‘New Zealand’s First Growth’, putting the winery on par with the world’s top French wine producers:

    ‘Many critics consider Coleraine up there with the best Bordeaux blends in the world. The original intention may have been to mirror the top Cru Classé but, today, Coleraine has evolved its own style.’

    Te Mata Coleraine ’13, ’14 and ’15 have all sold out from the winery within weeks of their release. Te Mata’s Coleraine, as well as its Bullnose Syrah, were both listed in the TOP 50 WINES OF THE WORLD by US wine critic James Suckling. Demand for recent vintages has soared.

    Coleraine ’16 – marking 120 years of winemaking at Te Mata Estate – is available on 1 March 2018.

    Read the full PDF here…

  • ‘New Zealand’s Greatest Red Wine’

    ‘Te Mata Coleraine from Hawke’s Bay is in my opinion New Zealand’s greatest red wine. It is a tribute to the foresight of John Buck and his partners in creating the wine, and to the superlative work of winemaker Peter Cowley and the viticultural team led by Larry Morgan who have provided a wine that is internationally recognised as one of the very best from the country for over three decades.  There are other wines that come close; in the Bordeaux-style, Stonyridge ‘Larose’ is a contender, but doesn’t quite have the length of time of production, or the amount of wine made.  There are some superb Pinot Noirs, but that is like comparing apples with oranges, and again, the length of track record of the top wines, Ata Rangi and Felton Pinot Noir does not measure up.  Objectively one must say Coleraine is a stand-out.

    I’ve been a follower of Te Mata ‘Coleraine’ from the beginning, purchasing most vintages, including the pre-cursor Te Mata Cabernet Sauvignon 1981 (but I missed out on the first 1980).  I slowed down my buying of ‘Coleraine’ once I joined the wine trade, but have always been interested in the developments and evolution, participating and in fact organising promotional events at the retail outlets I was working at, in conjunction with Te Mata and their distributors.  It allowed an intimacy with the wine, the Buck family (John, Wendy, Nick and Toby Buck) and the Te Mata team few have enjoyed.  I worked vintage at Te Mata Estate for the 1991 vintage with the indominatable José Hernandez, my boss at the time.  And I’ve been lucky to be involved in various vertical tastings of ‘Coleraine’, in particular the 25th Anniversary Tasting held in Napier on 3 May 2008, where 250 guests and 25 staff tasted the wines from the inaugural 1982 to the then current release 2006.  Both my partner Sue Davies and I were pleased to help in a small way with the logistics of preparing the wines and pouring them….’

    Read the full vertical tasting notes here...

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