Ink-dark crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 glimmers with bright raspberry, cherry and blackberry sparkling over mocha, cedar and spice. Always a favourite expression of fine Hawke’s Bay cabernet, Awatea from 2017 is refreshing and moreish as well as typically elegant. Aromas of red and dark berry fruit, flashes of boysenberry and espresso on the palate, and a classical, super-fine, tannin structure running through to its long finish make Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 a true star.
Total acidity as tartaric: 5.6g/l
Residual Sugar: Dry
The grapes for Awatea ’17 were hand harvested from Te Mata Estate’s vineyards between 23 March and 2 April 2017
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 2018, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in October 2018. The final blend is 56% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 5% 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 '17 - ' Coleraine most often is a fair leap ahead of Awatea, but this year they almost pack into the same scrum with equal weight. Black fruit, tobacco, dried flower perfume, cocoa with a sprinkle of baking spice. Its proudly medium-bodied, light but lithe and well-knit. Mineral feel and lead pencil savoury stuff, a little redcurrant and cool acidity, firm and dry tannin, dried herb and delightful clarity mouth-perfume, sure length and mocha in the after taste. Wonderful wine. So adult, so poised and sure footed.' 94 PointsGary Walsh, The Wine Front, Australia, June 2019 All Reviews