(2020) I was lucky enough to visit this new operation just before lockdown, led by the hugely experienced Steve Smith MW, ex-Craggy Range and Villa Maria, along with his US business partner. A very premium Sauvignon Blanc from 25-year-old vines in the Wairau sub-region of Marlborough, it's a wonderfully expressive, aromatic and decidedly opulent take on the NZ Sauvignon formula. The nose is flooded with ripe, juicy peach as well as the distinctive but subtle top notes of grass and elderflower, not too green, but vivacious. On the palate there is lovely texture here, real concentration sometimes missing in lesser examples, and that all-encompassing ripeness of peach, mango and exotic lychee, but all the time balanced by its sheer acidity into a long finish. A terrific Sauvignon Blanc. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Plenty of meaty, solid, polished oak and deep fruit. Sandalwood and spices rather than florals. Lots of juiciness here too, tangy and dry, quite a serious savoury style with a rasp of tannin and plum skin grippy acidity and extract, but has a fine red fruit firmness and rich juiciness.
(2020) The blend is 58% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon - plus 1% Petit Verdot. It spent 18 months in French oak barrels. Meat and graphite, touches of bloodiness and game, melt into black fruit. On the palate the citrus acidity and juicy, tight tannins give a long, quite firm finish.
(2020) Seven years since I last tasted this (blind) and rated it 89/100 and found it a bit green. Te Mata still consider it too young, softening colour around the rim, a lot more meaty than the younger wines, tapenade, a touch of menthol, but the meatiness is so muscular and compact at this stage. Sweet, very intense, muscular with a touch of polished wood or leather, but you see that Coleraine freshness in there too. Juicy, fresh acids edge the fruit and structure that may indeed give it time yet. Price and stockist for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) Big Cabernet Franc component of 16% in this vintage, bottled just a month ago. Slightly deeper colour than the 2017, still crimson. Lovely perfume, touches of violet and kirsch again, a little bit of briar and olive, but more overtly ripe and plush than the 2017. Substantial creamy palate, a flood of fruit that is sweet, but the impression of bittersweet with the endive and liquorice bite of the tannins, a touch of roasted chestnut add great, vital acidity again. Price and stockist quoted for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) No Cabernet Franc in this vintage, 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 60% new oak. Beautiful crimson colour and absolutely gorgeous aromatic intensity, some kirsch and firm black berries, a little exotic Sandalwood spice and light, incense-like smokiness. A touch of green olive and currant leaf, but what a lovely nose. Such pure, sweet fruit, the tight grained structure of the tannins and the line of acidity makes it lithe and supple. Juiciness to spare, a touch of kirsch and floral in the finish. Like the 2018, obviously considerable cellaring potential.
(2020) Around 12% of Cabernet Franc in the blend too. Bold crimson, lithe and cherryish, moving into cassis, but bright, bold and perfumed. Lovely dry palate, the medium-bodied black and red fruits against firm but silky and sandy tannins and well-judge acidity, finishes long on sweet fruit and acidity.
(2020) From a single vineyard, "with a unique soil profile," says Nick, "with saltiness from the tidal river." Much more subtly aromatic, with Star fruit and melon rind, a lovely texture. Some richness, and a generous acid quality. Great balance and length. Price and stockist for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) From a vineyard planted in the 1980s. Very nice melon and stone fruit notes, a lovey full texture, clear apple and pear juice flavours, crackling lemon zest and sour, pithy grapefruit acid quality.