Coleraine – The One. Wednesday 6th March St James Theatre
The Regional Wines blurb sez: Te Mata Estate’s Coleraine is this country’s most consistently reliable cellar-worthy wine with vintages from the 1980s still drinking superbly. This reliability is one of the reasons that the annual release of Coleraine and Awatea is so eagerly awaited by wine lovers.
There is a real treat at the Showcase this year. We will be tasting the new release 2011 Coleraine alongside the 2001 and 1991 vintages demonstrating, if any was needed, how well Coleraine ages. We will also be presenting the 2011 Awatea, Cape Crest, Zara Viognier as well as the newly released Estate wines.
This must be my 4th annual Te Mata tasting. I am a creature of habit. But then again, I got to try a 10-yr old Coleraine at the very first one, and it totally turned me on to old brown red wine…
And John Buck’s house, the Te Mata founder, is pictured above as my main blog photo.
At the door we were offered four wines:
Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – notes of melons, green capsicum, tomato stalk; long, crisp and fresh with limes
Estate Chardonnay 2011 – nuts, toast, peaches, creamy malo.
Estate Gamay Noir – 2012 – light, savoury, black fruits.
Estate Merlot Cabernets 2010 – dark ruby colour, fresh blackberry and ripe plums, lovely florals and vanilla, long and dark chocolatey – yum
For the formal sit-down tasting we were offered:
Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – 86% sauv blanc, with balance semillon and sauvignon gris – one of Te Mata’s signature wines – 3mths in bottle; pale yellow green; bouquet of sun cut vines, vanilla from the French oak, beeswax?; tastes of limes and pear and sea salt; dry, long, with good acidity; 9 mths of lees contact adds texture. Age-worthy.
Zara Viognier 2011 – a good one this – smells of sponge cake; tastes of Turkish delight and honey and apricots; oily; long peppery finish; would be great drunk with jerk chicken.
Elston Chardonnay 2011 – strong strong manuka honey aroma; rich 100% malo; the honey masks peaches and mealiness; there is some minerality evident. Age-worthy.
Awatea Cabernet Merlot 2011 – probably the least performer here – tight, closed, light aromatics, needs time to open up; fine tannins; blackcurrant, blackberry. Some length.
Then the Bordeaux-blend big guns:
Coleraine 1991 – well brown this; nougat, toffee, butterscotch, old leather, old roses; in the Bordeaux style; dark choc, less fruit, dry tannins – yum yum
Coleraine 2001 – smells of doctors and dentists surgeries (in a nice way); deep browning crimson; dark chocolate and plums and coffee; still tannic, with fruit still evident.
Coleraine 2011 – deep crimson; lively and intense; smells of blackberries and almonds; long tannins and yes, dark choc. Needs time in bottle, or some decanting. Again age-worthy definitely.
A good night; pity no Bullnose Syrah at the tasting; too little production, we have to hope for next year.
Nick Buck was excited about the upcoming vintage. Picking starts tomorrow. Lets see what turns up at the tasting in 2015!