2014 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay (Previously $30)

SKU #1274022 96 points Raymond Chan

 Very dark, deep, black-purple color, a little lighter on the rim, and youthful in appearance. The nose is fresh and refined with dark red florals entwined with black and red currants and fresh, dark herbs. The aromatics are beautifully pure and grow in depth and penetration in the glass. Medium full bodied, the palate is tightly concentrated with a sleek, intense heart of bold blackcurrant and redcurrant fruit. This has lifted dark red-floral aromatics along with piquant fresh herbs and a hint of leafiness, but the fruit sweetness and richness unfolds, enlivened by crisp, refined, lacy acidity. The tannin extraction lends a fine-grained structure that allows the fruit fragrance and succulent vibrancy to prevail. The wine flows with excellent linearity to a very long, aromatic fnish of dark red florals, herbs and cassis liqueur. This has elegance, freshness and balance, with an aromatic coolness that will see the wine develop 8-10 years easily. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 25% new French oak.

95 points Sam Kim

 The bouquet is classic Bordeaux: fragrant, inviting and complex with cassis, plum, dried herb and floral notes with hints of grilled meat and cedar. The palate is concentrated and focused, and offers fine texture and flowing mouthfeel. The wine is perfectly framed by fine, delicately drying tannins, and finishes superbly long and engaging. A glorious Awatea, offering exceptional value, that will delight fans of this label over coming years. The 2014 vintage wine is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. At its best: 2018 to 2030.

92 points Bob Campbell

 Bright, fresh red with red and blue berries, pepper and subtle leafy flavours plus a seasoning of spicy oak. Fruit sweetness gives the wine accessibility, although it does show some potential at least for the medium-term. Offers good value at this price.  (6/2016)

91-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Cabernet Merlot Awatea was a finished blend, just needing to be fined and bottled in January 2016. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has a very spicy, toasty, pencil shavings and plums laced nose. Ripe, plump, rounded and with generous fruit in the mouth, it delivers a firm backbone of ripe tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing with great persistence. (LPB)  (12/2015)


 (this is essentially the estate's second wine to the Coleraine): Dark bright red. Aromas of cassis and mint show a slightly raw green-peppery quality. Juicy but tight on the palate; less open than the 2013 version and ultimately less sweet as well. Cherry and cocoa flavors are currently dominated by spices and herbs, with the tannins turning a bit dusty and dry. (ST)  (5/2016)

K&L Notes

Te Mata's Awatea is basically a baby Coleraine; it comes from identical vineyard sources and is made in much the same way. It is all from Te Mata's estate vineyards, aged in high-end French oak cooperage and built to last. In great vintages like 2014 I think this wine represents a serious bargain. It has enough fruit and richness to be enjoyed young (with decanting and a rib eye preferably) but also undoubtedly has the structure and poise to last at least a decade in the cellar. Think of this as you would a 2nd label to one of the great Chateaus of Bordeaux. The Awatea has a great nose of fresh tobacco, graphite, red and black currants, cigar box, and warm earth. Tannins are firm but well delineated and with good mid palate flesh to coat them making this accessible young but also endowing the wine with great ageing potential. Ryan Woodhouse (K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2017 | Send Email
An excellent Bordeaux style bland from New Zealand. It is full bodied with layers of flavors, offering dark fruit with mineral undertones wrapped in a balanced and structure package. It has a touch more fruit than most wines from Bordeaux and will go well with hearty foods.

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2017 | Send Email
Te Mata is the preeminent producer of Bordeaux blends in New Zealand. Their top bottling "Coleraine" is legendary. This second label “Awatea” is made in a slightly more approachable style at a more affordable price point. Otherwise you get the same classic blackcurrant leaf and savory “sous bois” character married to New World fruit that you find in the higher end bottling. A “can’t miss” wine for Bordeaux lovers.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/25/2016 | Send Email
This is one of the best Bordeaux blends that we have in stock. Te Mata always over delivers, on every wine that they produce. This is the "Second wine" to the Coleraine but it is the first wine that I want to buy from their portfolio. This wine has richness, great structure, beautiful fruit, subtle complexity; what more could you ask for.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/12/2016 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
The second wine to the great Te Mata "Coleraine." This wine is made from the same vineyards, made in the same cellars, with the same techniques as the mighty, multiple 100-point Coleraine. It is simply one of the best bargains around in Cab and Cab-based blends. The 2014 Awatea finds the perfect balance between power and restraint. There are rich Cabernet flavors of plum, cassis and blackcurrant but also whiffs of tobacco, cedar and pencil shavings (quite Pauillac like I think). The wine has lovely upfront fruit but also considerable structure and integrated tannins; that means it can stand up to a few years in the cellar or the heftiest cut of steak you can muster. If you enjoy more classic renditions of Napa Cab or Left Bank Bordeaux, you owe it to yourself to check out this wine—it will reset how some people perceive NZ wine...this is a game-changing bottle.
Top Value! Drink from 2016 to 2026

Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/5/2016 | Send Email
I am always intrigued by a Bordeaux blend from anywhere, but this one from NZ definitely caught my attention. Perhaps a touch riper than most Bordeaux, yet still possesses complexity and poise. Lacquer, leafy tobacco, cassis, a touch of capsicum, with dusty tannins. One of the best Bordeaux blends I have tasted this year.

Staff Image By: Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/1/2016 | Send Email
A great, layered and intriguing wine! It starts with green pepper and spice on the side palate that wraps around fresh, deep red fruit and blackberries. Layers of dusty tannins, bay leaves and other dry herbs emerge throughout the sip. Through all that the wine never loses its fresh, balanced acidity and ripe fruit notes that linger on the finish.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/27/2016 | Send Email
This wine absolutely blew me away when I tasted the 2013 vintage, I immediately wanted to buy several bottles only to discover that by the time I was introduced to it we were already sold out. So after much cursing and carrying on as well as muttered imprecations I resolved to await the new vintage with more or less grace. Finally the wait is over and I have tasted the new vintage. It was worth the wait. Classic Bordeaux nose of red and black berry with cassis and dark floral notes. This wine is powerful, yet structured with the layers of herbs and minerality off setting the sweet fruit and crisp acid. The finish is long and resplendent with dark cassis and a touch of herbaceous goodness that lasts long. If you can stand the hold on to this wine it will age beautifully but make sure you pick up enough to open some during the holidays.

Additional Information:


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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5