2011 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay New Zealand

SKU #1122398 92 points James Suckling

 This is like top white Bordeaux again with lemon lime, green apple and mineral character. Great intensity. Full body with lovely balance of fruit and oak. Excellent finish. Drink now

17 points Jancis Robinson

 Brilliantly forthright oak, like all-butter shortbread. Lemon citrus and vegetal notes still present on the palate, good restraint despite the potent nose. This could be Graves or Pessac-Léognan.

K&L Notes

K&L Notes: One of New Zealand's top Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blancs, the 2011 Te Mata "Cape Crest" was raised in a combination of new and used French oak barrels. Eight months aging on the lees lends this Bordeaux-style blend (85% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon, and 4% Sauvignon Gris) incredible mid-palate richness and length on the finish. It reveals intense aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, pear, and blossom in the nose, with accents of buttered toast and vanilla. The palate is layered and creamy, with fine acid structure and a very long lingering nutty finish. Very classy stuff.

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2013 | Send Email
This wine absolutely crushed at our recent NZ tasting! White peach, honey, citrus, lanolin and fresh acidity notes stood out right up front. What really made this wine stand out, however, was the broad, viscous texture from the barrel and lees aging. This is a serious wine for $20!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/28/2013 | Send Email
HOLY GEEZE this is an amazing wine! Lovely white flowers, peaches, jasmine, citrus, toast with a wonderful lees-driven texture. Medium plus acidity and so drinkable. Ridiculously drinkable at $19.99!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/24/2013 | Send Email
If you're a fan of white Bordeaux, this is a must try for you. The Cape Crest is a blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon and 4% Sauvignon Gris that is barrel fermented in new and seasoned French oak that matured in barrel for 8 months with a regular stirring of the lees before being bottled. The nose shows a light toast and nutty note with pear, lime blossom, lanolin, jasmine flower and a hint of tangerine peel. On the palate there is great texture with a creamy mid-palate supported by fine acidity and length. I don't usually talk about ageing Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, but this is an exception in the mold of an upscale white Bordeaux. Gorgeous.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/23/2013 | Send Email
This is serious stuff! The Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc is a big departure from the normal hot pepper style of New Zealand SB's. On the back label it says it has a "touch of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris" but to me this tastes like a full on white Bordeaux blend. This wine is full of lanolin and honey on the nose but is dry as can be on the palate, with a quite broad texture. It is an excellent wine that stretches the boundaries on NZ Sauvignon!

Additional Information:


Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.

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.