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Te Mata Awatea Red Blend 2020

Tasting Notes

Awatea Cabernets/Merlot 2020 is a dark royal ruby; a bright purple glow at its edge. Immediate classical aromas of walnut and polished cedar shimmer amongst wild blackberry, currants, marzipan, and dusty sunbaked gravel. On the palate, red and black summer-fruits entwine with brilliant red roses, high notes of vanilla, and silky dark-chocolate tannin. Savoury, bright, and sumptuous.

Winery: Te Mata
Varietal: Red Blend
SKU: TEMAWARED2020 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Te Mata Awatea Red 2020

$44.99

Awards/Reviews

95 pts Vinous

Initially tight as a monkey’s nuts, the very young 2020 Awatea needs time to open up and reveal its creamy, seductive personality. Tasted alongside the already impressive 2019 Awatea, the 2020 goes a step further in its substance, depth and ripeness. It has a rich mid-palate of sweet black currant, black olives and mint, but it’s all tremendously creamy. Underneath the lush exterior, an abundance of fine yet structured powdery tannins combine with fine acidity to provide the architecture for this intense wine. Offering excellent persistence, structure and scent, the 2020 has knocked it out of the park. Best Awatea ever? You might be looking at it.

95 pts Wine Advocate

If you’re a Coleraine lover—and let’s be real, any self-respecting Cabernetphile is—then you’ll know that the Awatea Cabernet represents sensational value for the money. Slightly lighter framed and less dense/powerful than the Coleraine, and with an admirably open and lusty fruit profile, the 2020 Awatea Cabernets Merlot gives the people what they want. It leads with leafy, elegant, very fine Cabernet fruit laden with cassis, pomegranate, ferrous notes, a hint of iodine and loads of bramble and bay leaf. The palate is populated by very fine, powdery tannins that shape the flow of flavor. Gorgeous. The draw of flavor across the palate is sensational. The Merlot particularly really shines in 2020 and 2021. There’s an oyster shell and tea tree leaf character through the finish. Matured in French oak 30% new. 2023-2035

93 pts James Suckling

I like the distinct pencil lead and graphite character here, with dark plums, bramble, dried herbs and black tea. Medium-bodied with a fine tannin frame. Linear. Restrained, yet excellent varietal expression.

Winemaker Notes

First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot blend. 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.

54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc

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 ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2021.

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