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The wines of Te Mata Estate, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Te Mata is a historical estate Ė New Zealandís oldest winery, no less. It is family owned and run, and produces two lines of wines: the Te Mata estate wines and a separate range under the Woodthorpe label. In the middle is the Cape Crest Sauvignon. Hawkes Bay is quite a warm region and produces some of New Zealandís top red wines. The three Te Mata reds certainly impress. Represented in the UK by John E Fells, with retail prices given in brackets.

Woodthorpe Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Hawkes Bay
Fresh, slightly herby fruit style. Bold and nicely balanced with a herby, grassy edge. Very good+ 88/100 (£8.99)

Woodthorpe Chardonnay 2001 Hawkes Bay
A delicious wine. Herby, slightly nutty nose. The palate is full flavoured with lots of fruit and some nice nuttiness. Rounded and full. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£8.99)

Woodthorpe Cabernet Merlot 2002 Hawkes Bay
Lovely ripe blackcurrant fruit nose with a chalky, minerally edge. Accessible, ripe fruity palate with a nice savoury minerally character thatís often found in cool climate reds. Very good+ 88/100 (£8.99)

Woodthorpe Syrah/Viognier 2002 Hawkes Bay
Lovely ripe roasted nose with spicy fruit. The palate is lively with vivid fruit and a savoury, spicy edge. A fruit forward style thatís quite bold and full. Very good+ 89/100 (£10.99)

Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Hawkes Bay
Rounded, herby, grassy nose. Rich full flavoured palate is quite expressive. Boldly flavoured and not too grassy. Ripe and balanced. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£10.99)

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2001 Hawkes Bay
Intense, taut nose is nutty, herby and rich with lots of flavour. Thereís a slight toastiness, too. The palate shows a good concentration of herb-tinged nutty fruit. Bold but not overdone. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£14.49)

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2001 Hawkes Bay
Opaque colour. Ripe perfumed nose with a roasted edge. Some smoky, tarry notes. The palate is rich, ripe and chunky with tarry, spicy fruit. Impressive in a modern style. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£14.49)

Te Mata Awatea Cabernet Merlot 1998 Hawkes Bay
Rounded, quite evolved berry fruit nose, with a spicy, earthy edge. Savoury palate is quite ripe and earthy Ė soft and evolved. Very good+ 88/100 (£14.49)

Te Mata Coleraine Cabernet Merlot 2000 Hawkes Bay
Rich, intense ripe creamy blackcurrant fruit nose. Very rich and enticing. The palate is bold and concentrated with nice minerally structure underlying the bold fruit. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£22.99)  

See also: tasting notes of New Zealand wines

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