2009 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay New Zealand

SKU #1088711 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Awatea Cabernet / Merlot has been produced since 1982. Blended of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the 2009 Awatea Cabernet / Merlot offers a deep garnet-purple color and aromas of Indian spice, sandalwood, cloves and cumin seed over warm blackberries and cassis plus hints of cigar box and cedar. Full bodied with muscular fruit and a good amount of spicy berry flavors in the mouth, it has firm grainy tannins, crisp acid and a long, elegant finish. Approachable now, it should continue to drink to 2020+.  (10/2011)

K&L Notes

This Bordeaux-style blend demonstrates the depth and complexity that the Bordeaux varietals take on in New Zealand. Floral, with incense and cherry aromas, this is balanced but full on the palate, with blackberry and cherry fruit, spice, herbs de Provence and bittersweet chocolate. Drinkable now with some air, this will continue to improve over the next 5-8 years and drink for up to a decade.

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Price: $28.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2012 | Send Email
I remember spending time with Nicholas Buck, the Sales and Marketing Director and son of Te Mata's owner John Buck three years ago about finding the right people to sell their wines in the States. Thanks to some cyber-sleuthing on my cohort Ryan Woodhouse’s part, we found the wines here and promtly secured them. We were both fully aware of their quality and iconic status in New Zealand, and excited to bring back to the market. The “Awatea” is the little brother if you will to the flagship “Coleraine” and represents a more accessible stlye. The bouquet shows bright notes of plum, red currant, cedar, “red whip” licorice, mineral and a hint of tobacco. On the palate, these components come together in an elegant package with fine grained tannins and excellent balance and length.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/27/2012 | Send Email
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During my travels last year in New Zealand I visited over 50 wineries. In general I was amazed by the quality and diversity of the wine I encountered. The wines of Te Mata Estate in Hawkes Bay really impressed me, enough so that on my return to the US I sought them out and knew we had to make them available to our customers. The Awatea is the 2nd wine to the flagship Coleraine, made in a slightly more plush, drink earlier style and represents an excellent value for a very solid bottle of wine. Te Mata Estate believes this to be the finest Awatea it has produced to date. I found this wine to be rich and sweetly fruited showing excellent ripeness but remaining balanced with fine yet persistent tannins. The wine is full bodied and more fruit driven than the Coleraine, and with a supple structure more suited to near term drinking. The perfect steak wine!
Top Value! Drink from 2012 to 2020

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.