Te Mata Estate Coleraine Library Tasting 1982 – 2015


Te Mata Coleraine 1

New Zealand’s greatest and most famous red wine?

This is the opinion of a few notable palates of the New Zealand wine scene, admittedly encouraged by the superb marketing efforts of the folks behind the winery itself, and this opinion is also shared by several overseas leading palates, namely Jamie Goode and Steven Spurrier.

I am quite partial to the wine myself, though my own palate can best be described as naïve. I was introduced to the ‘00 at a tasting of Te Mata wines back in ‘10, and was I entranced by its quality. I didn’t know a NZ wine would age so well!  Actually, until that time, I had never thought of keeping a New Zealand wine any longer than the thirty minutes it took to get it home from the bottlestore. But life is learning, isn’t it?

Now, however, I am the  proud owner of several vintages of Coleraine, all sleeping it off down in the Pool Room under the watchful gaze of kellarmausefanger Mimi until they hit the Witching Hour of ten years of age. The first cab off the rank will be the 2009. My cellar’s pride and joy is a magnum of Coleraine 2013 (ignoring its admitted rival, 750mls of Stonyridge Larose 2005. Plus a bunch of Rieslings. I could go on).

Geoff Kelly, an aficionado of aged wines, previously a wine judge, and one of the resident wine experts at Regional Wines and Spirits, organised this hugely important look at twelve of the best vintages of this great wine since its inception in 1982. There have been 31 vintages to date, with the 1992 and 1993 not being made due to the localised cool weather influenced by the Pinatubo volcanic eruption in Indonesia, and a later vintage (2011?) which was beset by rain. A large number of bottles had been collected over the years by the late founder of Regional Wines, Grant Jones, and Geoff contributed others to fill the holes. He consulted with Peter Cowley, Te Mata’s longtime winemaker, about what he thought the finest vintages were, and thus assembled a selection for tasting over two nights.

I attended the second helping.

Geoff provided an excellent set of introductory notes, which can be read via the link below, with his carefully considered reviews of the wines themselves. Spoiler alert!

http://www.geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz/index.php?ArticleID=284

Raymond Chan, another local wine reviewer and judge, also ex RW, and an expert whose writings I admire, and also a long-time fan of Coleraine, he attended the first sitting also. And his informative notes are below. Another spoiler alert!

http://www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz/blog/te-mata-coleraine-2015-1982

My good friend GN was in attendance as well, as was a couple of MS members; cracking palates all, plus me, ha! But I’m still at the Bluffing Stage of public winetasting. Again, life is learning, isn’t it?

au vins:

1982 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

1983 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

1989 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

1991 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

1995 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

1998 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2002 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2005 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2007 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2009 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2013 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

2015 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay

Interestingly, Te Mata Estate Coleraine Hawkes Bay 1998 was named a ‘Wine Legend’ in the August Issue of UK’s wine magazine Decanter, placing it amongst the greatest wines of all time. The only New Zealand wine to receive the title to date, Decanter’s profile situates Te Mata Estate’s flagship Coleraine beside other ‘Wine Legends’ at more than ten times its price. Hmm. I take this magazine, surface mail, and haven’t seen this issue yet. It will be interesting to sup that one, then.

Time to sniff and slurp. I won’t write up all twelve wines (I leave that weighty task to Geoff and Raymond), but will rather report on my highlights. The wines were served non-blind, in age order youngest to oldest, as 30ml pours.

Te Mata Coleraine 2

The bouquet, as you would expect, showed evolution as the years progressed. Bright primary fruits to start with the later vintages, tending through secondary characters (cedar etc) in the 2000s, then landing on tertiary notes (tobacco ash etc)  as the decades weighed in from the 90s and back. Colour tended bright deep pink carmine in the young wines, through to darker hues, and tending brick for the oldies.

2015 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – $140! OMFG – This was a great start to the tasting. If I can be presumptuous, the producers are making better wine the more goes they have at doing so, and this makes sense. The vines are getting older. And thus the ‘15 is winner in the making. Bright carmine colour. Sweet red and dark fruits on the nose. Sensitive. Breathy. Fresh fruit flavours. Fresh acidity. Great intensity and length. Bracing. Plush and lush, plumpness and  balance. Three ticks.

2013 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – I have this in the Pool Room. It was a Lauded Vintage in the Bay. Bright carmine colour. More volatile than the ’15. A hint of spirit marker. Dark fruit. An impression of restrained power. There was power and crunch in the in the mouth also. Dense and packed with flavour. Some spice. Gorgeous and concentrated, fine, no oak showing. Fabulous. Three ticks.

2009 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – Notable for the cassis showing, vanilla, and huge fruit profile. Hot on exit.

2007 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – I noted here floral, lifted, and tension. Baking spice.  Elusive violets. Elegant, long and lean of finish. A special wine.

2005 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – Dark carmine, tending brick. A packed nose. Delightful. Cedar, chalk, dusty , and cassis. Good fruit on palate. A rich feel of the wine in my mouth. I saw neatness and harmony and symmetry. Long. Three ticks for this.

1995 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – Dark carmine, tending brick. Dry and evolved, a light and leafy bouquet. Gorgeous fruit flavours again. Poised. I noted sweetness and freshness, length and persistence. A gorgeous wine. Three ticks for this too.

1991 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – Dark carmine, tending brick. Evolved, with aromas of roses, spice, violets, cassis, cedar and blackcurrant jam. A lot going on here. Delicious, involving and mouthcoating. Someone called this a mature Claret. Drying a little. Harmonious. Three ticks again!

1982 Te Mata Coleraine, Hawkes Bay – Dark carmine, tending brick. Most evolved, but still holding up with freshness and intensity of fruit belieing its age. An amazing 35YO New Zealand wine, and my Wine Of The Night because of this (beating out the ’91, ’05 and ’13).

My takeaway from this tasting had to be the pleasure in seeing how the bouquet evolved through the years. And how the wine colour changed. It was also interesting to see how the later vintages showed improvements that I can only put down to greater vine age and better vineyard/winery practice which has evolved over the years. Te Mata are making better Coleraines now than they did in the past, in my opinion.

This was a masterclass. Something you get vanishingly rarely with NZ wines. And this may well be the last public tasting of this breadth of Coleraines, until the winery itself opens its cellar at the next significant anniversary. Thanks Geoff, and thanks also to the late Grant Jones.

 

Te Mata Estate 2014 Reds release


Te Mata Coleraine 2014 tasting

Regional Wines Instore Tasting – Bullnose, Awatea, Coleraine 2014s

Regional Wines opened a bottle of the new release premium red wines from Te Mata Estate in Hawkes Bay for all and sundry to try. First in, first served. Couldn’t miss this…I hurriedly took these notes on my way home to the family…

Te Mata Estate Bullnose Syrah 2014 – $$$ – Plumper & fleshier that the ’13; warmer black pepper violets, delicious. A very attractive Syrah

Te Mata Estate Cab Merlot Awatea 2014 – $$$ – Grippy fruity structured, bright acidity, warm Vanilla notes, delicious dark fruits, savoury & long. Great drinking now.

Te Mata Estate Coleraine 2014$$$++ – Dense bright acid showing dark roses, mocha, packed ripe fine fruit weight and tight structure, a substantial essential NZ wine; needs 5 years min to show best and integrate.  Selling for around a hundred dollars a bottle now…ouch

What’s in the glass tonight March 29th


Te Mata Coleraine 1990

From the Cellar: Te Mata Coleraine Hawkes Bay 1990 – $$$ (Hammer time)

To celebrate/commiserate over the Black Caps performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup Final against Australia, i thought I would knock the top off this auction purchase and share with L, and with D and R over at their place…

Dark crimson to look at. 12%

I smelled brambles, age evolved blackcurrants and plums, and old woodshed.

Thinnish fruit in the mouth as expected (25 year old wine), but it opened up well in the glass and showed great quality, character and class. It stayed true in the glass over time. Lots to think about when nosing it. Leather and cedar notes. Worth opening, no faults I could see beyond age. Decanting worked well, we caught a lot of sediment.

Score it Outstanding 5 for longevity.

…and alas we were thrashed by Australia. What a glorious run to get to the final although 🙂

Te Mata Showcase Release March 2015


Te Mata showcase 2015

Richard Sheriff of Regional Wines, Wellington, organised a showcase tasting of Te Mata’s latest release wines including the much heralded 2013 Coleraine (according to Yvonne Lorkin, “this wine will change your life!”) to be hosted by Te Mata CEO Nicholas Buck.

I bought tickets for Land I, apparently first in the queue. I was determined not to miss out on this.

Regional’s usual suspects were in attendance. Their infamous raked-back chairs claimed a fresh victim who arrived last, sat down in a rush, and promptly tipped over backwards and sent his wine glasses tumbling when his feet hit the underside of the table! And he hadn’t even started drinking…

With that excitement behind us, we enjoyed a welcome glass of Te Mata Estate Sav Blanc and Nick ran through a summary of the two vintages we were to review – 2013 and 2014.

Vintage 2013 was absolutely tremendous, reportedly a vintage of a lifetime/once-in-30-years vintage etc. Great growing conditions, good even heat, optimally harvest weather, intensity and high yields.

Vintage 2014 was characterised as very early and very good. Nick Buck called the two years the “Celestial twins”…

Te Mata Estate is family-owned, and was established in 1896. The present proprietors the Buck and Morris families purchased the original property in 1974. They have expanded operations within southern Hawkes Bay since and the estate now comprises the original vineyards on the side of Te Mata peak in the Havelock Hills, the Woodthorpe Terraces beside the Tutaekuri river, and vineyards within the Bridge Pa Triangle east of Hastings – an appellation of sorts in it’s own right.

The Tasting

Te Mata Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – 13% – I really like the Savs these guys are shipping out of the Te Mata and Bridge Pa Triangle districts. Bright pale straw. Elegant restrained nose. Fresh and clean and fruity sav, measured acidity, concentrated. Dry, no residual sugar. Some say Sancerre-like. Cracking early drinking! 4

Te Mata Estate Chardonnay 2014 – 13.5% – Pale gold. 50% malo, 9 mths in barrel. Beautiful nose – complex, warm, and mealy with  oak and vanilla – yum. Flavours of white peach, lemon citrus, great fruit weight. A young wine, only just bottled, but layered already. 4

Te Mata Estate Gamay Noir 2014 – 13% – Crimson. L loved this. Odd nose of pipe tobbaco, cigarettes and old smoker (perhaps a residue of carbonic maceration), leavened with red berries and lollies. Palate of light red fruits, lively freshness, nice burst of acidity at the finish. 3+

Te Mata Estate Syrah 2014 – 13% – Purple red. A touch of Viognier in the blend. Strong bouquet of baking spices – quite lovely. Ripe red fruits to taste, cinnamon furry tannins, white pepper. A light young wine off 12 year vines. 3

Te Mata Estate Merlot Cabernets 2013 – 13.5% – Dark magenta. Merlot dominant – notes of coffee and choc aromas. Leggy. Flavours of plums. Complex, rich and warm, softened with a little bottle age. Good fruit concentration, dense & long. Absolutely delicious. 4+

Te Mata Estate Zara Viognier 2014 – 14% – Bright gold. Sweet ripe golden fruit, perfumed, notes of soft pears, pear tree blossom, crystalised ginger.  Dry in the mouth, savoury, oily quality, good weight, saline finish. I was told it works well with artichokes. 4

Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – 14% – Bright white. Off 35yr vines, low cropping, barrel fermented. Truly outstanding. Elegant, dense nose. Great concentration. Floral, I smell white flowers, fresh apples, oak-softened fruit aromas. In the mouth I sense ripeness, purity and great expression. Fresh crisp concentrated fruit on initial attack, and a perfect finish of acidity and length. Long-lived. 5

Te Mata Estate Elston Chardonnay 2013 – 14% – Bright lemon-gold. 100% malo, Mendoza clone grapes. Clean and linear on the nose. Refined. Not a shouter. Really ripe and rich and concentrated tastes, good weight, fresh citrus characters and nougat. It is currently holding back, and will open up over time. Delicious. 4+

Te Mata Estate Bullnose Syrah 2013 – 13% – Magenta. I thought this had a real Rhone nose. And that’s all I need, really. Soft red berry fruits, floral aromatics, spice and a little white pepper. Light red fruit on palate, with ripeness, soft tannins and suppleness. A very nice wine.  4

Te Mata Estate Awatea Cabernets Merlot 2013 – 13.5% – Deep crimson. Note as bold a nose as the Estate wine, restrained dark plum fruits, choc and coffee, but it does build as I nose the glass over time, and shows a lovely degree of complexity. Gorgeous blackberries and plum flavours – quite a sweet attack. Tobacco and mint. Racy tannins. Long. Drying finish. Stellar. 4+

Te Mata Estate Coleraine 2013 – 13.5% – Ark, dark crimson. This isd a huge quality wine. I can’t describe it and do it justice. There is density and purity and red roses and richness and concentration and so much deep fruit and tannin attack…I best leave it to the expert at Regional Wines, “and we can see the immense quality in the ’13 Coleraine. The nose is full of sweet red fruits – plums, red and black currants, cassis, and the sweet basil and cigar smoke. I find wines like this hard to describe, as they are nuanced, but with great depth of flavour. The wine changed throughout the night as well –having been poured 2 hours before tasting, it showed what a little air can do to the wine”. 5

And there you have it. I put in orders for the Elston, Cape Crest, Zara, Gamay and the Coleraine.

Straight to the Pool Room – March 2015


Pool Room March 2015

L and I attended a fantastic tasting earlier in the week, and I bought a wee bit of this, and my first magnum!:

Te Mata Estate Coleraine Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$$+ Drink 2023-2043!

From the producer, “From the depths of its saturated inky appearance, Coleraine ’13 is a commanding statement of the vintage. Its powerful attack of beautifully ripened blackberries and black plums integrates with an accompanying surge of immediate tannin which quickly becomes the focus as the wine flows across the palate. Coleraine ’13 is a wine to contemplate, from a large glass, over several hours. It is a 30 year wine of impeccable style and character. Coleraine ’13. There is no comparison.”

The stuff of legends.” – Decanter Magazine, UK.

‘Twas nice to try a glass of it before I put these down to sleep.

Te Mata Showcase 2014 Tasting


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Wow this annual tasting rolled around fast. I invited along my mate MM who likes a drop.

New venue. No Coleraine (bad season), but the Bullnose Syrah was back.

We were welcomed by Nick Buck, CEO, on arrival, and got warmed up with these welcome wines during the initial mix’n’mingle:

Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – typical HB version of this varietal – not as herbaceous as down south. Little winemaking artifice. 3

TMEV Chardonnay 2013 – Ripe grapefruit notes. 3

TMEV Gamay Noir 2013 – Fresh juicy fruit expression I recall most. Serve lightly chilled. 3+

TMEV Syrah 2013 – I liked this. Aromatic. Lightly spiced. Very young still (3 weeks in bottle!). Will cellar 3-5 years. 4

Te Mata Zara Viognier 2013 – very integrated wine, lovely, mouthfilling. Not as hot as previous versions. 4

Then it was on the main room for the formal seated tasting of two flights of four wines…

First flight – ‘07’s:

Cape Crest 2007 (Sauvignon Blanc)– Light straw. This was drinking superbly. Been a fav of mine for a while. One of the two best things they do I think…powerful nose, I see paint-thinner, but in a good way, and brand-new socks, weird…sweet and acidic and fresh to taste. Hint of vanilla from the eight months in French oak barrels, carraway seeds, any lime has mellowed. Additional of 13% semillon cuts through the directness of the sav. 5

Elston 2007 (Chardonnay)– Pale lemon colour. Smooth ripe nose, buttery, dry rolled oats. Peachy in the moth. Perfect level of maturity, lovely balance, ripe lemon, full-flavoured chardy. Burgundian style, full malo. 4+

Awatea 2007 (Cab Merlot Franc Petit Verdot) – dark magenta, browning on the rim. Notes of soap and boot polish, primanry fruit on the nose is fading. In the mouth I tasted preserved fruit, figs, prunes, and blackberries and cherries. Herby also. Structured tannins. It is mature and dry-ish, but holding on well. 4

Bullnose 2007 (Syrah) – dark ruby, browning on the rim. Attractive red berry, pepper and muscovado sugar flavours, with allspice and cinnamon. Not as structured as the Awatea, as you would expect. Lovely easy drinking. Dark caramel toffee at the finish. 4.

Second flight – ‘12’s

It was easy to see the difference in the development between the two sets of wine…

Cape Crest 2012 – Pale green. Only 9% semillon this time around. Fresh gooseberry – typical NZ savvy, hint of pencil shavings. Salty taste, with fresh fruit and refined tomato stalk flavours. Needs to settle down. The structure will let it sleep a while. 4

Elston 2012 – Pale lemon colour. Not so nose-y this version. Toasty background . Complex in mouth, dense weight and balance. Acid rush, cleans out the mouth, good with food I think. Should age 5 years. 4

Awatea 2012 – this is where I got distracted by a ‘fresh box’ smell I was getting off the glasses that were used in the tasting. I couldn’t see much past this when smelling the wine. In the mouth it was grippy, with cherries and choc. Not so enamoured with this one. 3

Bullnose 2012 – MORE FRESH BOX. Soapy, grippy, fruity. Not much to go on. A disappointing way to finish. I’d rather drink the cheaper Estate version, thanks.  3

Of the lot, the Cape Crest shone through, and the Elston. The reds were not so good this time in comparison.

Fast forward to the 2015 Showcase when we’ll get to try the potentially great ’13’s…

PS Congrats to Alistair from Regional Wines for being appointed as a Director of Te Mata. Please keep the prices down, Alistair.

 

Hammer Time


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I attended another fayne wayne auction at Dunbar’s today. I had my eye on picking up an old Te Mata Coleraine.

I ended up sitting next to a mature gent who was intent on buying up all the Coleraine on offer. This wasn’t looking good I thought. Still, I held my nerve and outbid him on one bottle of Te Mata Estate Coleraine 1990. So there. And I didn’t really pay much more than I would have for a new one.

Afterwards, while up at the counter when paying, I started talking to him. Turns out he is one of the directors of Te Mata Estate, and he was at the auction buying the Coleraines to plug gaps in the estate’s wine library. Funny.

I showed him mine and said it was for drinking, soon.

I also won an old Te Mata Awatea Cab Merlot 1992 for $20. The gent told me that was made in the Pinatubo year (when that volcano exploded and cooled global temperatures) and they didn’t make Coleraine– it all went into the Awatea. So he reckoned it might be a bit green. I reckon it will more likely be just old.

 

Plug pulled on flagship NZ wine


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Back on Nov 10th I blogged about Te Mata Coleraine 2007. This is a complimentary story by Roger Moroney from HAWKES BAY TODAY:

For the first time in 20 years Te Mata Estate winery at Havelock North has pulled the plug on its flagship wine Coleraine due to the tough 2012 growing vintage.

Coleraine had become widely regarded as New Zealand’s finest red wine and was first bottled in 1982 and since then become a sought after collector’s line.

But as Te Mata Estate director Nicholas Buck explained, the 2012 season was “challenging” with only 20 per cent of the normal Coleraine volume being produced.

“That left us with a tough decision – what do we do?”

He said a limited run of Coleraine could have been produced but that would have introduced speculative forces when it came to purchasing as the wines were in such demand.

The smaller number would have sold quickly and many people, who were regular annual purchasers of the variety, would have missed out.

“We had to weigh it all up. Do we disappoint some people or do we be fair to everyone?”

So the decision was made to declassify the entire 2012 Coleraine production into the winery’s second most recognised red – Awatea.

“It hurts us financially to make that decision and we do not take it lightly – but if it only happens every 20 years we can live with that.”

Mr Buck said it was more important to ensure quality and integrity was maintained.

While Coleraine lovers would miss out on a 2012 vintage they would benefit in that due to the non-appearance previous vintages would step up in value.

“And of course our Awatea 2012 customers will be the winners.”

The last time Coleraine failed to make it to the shelves and cellars was as result of lower than average summer temperatures in 1991 brought about by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

However, fans of the fine red will be buoyed by news that the 2013 Coleraine was well under way after one of the best vintages in decades.

“Oh yes – there will be a 2013,” Mr Buck said.

Of the fledgling 2014 vintage now on the vines Mr Buck said the indications at this stage were it would be plentiful and was looking good.

“Size levels are good and so are bunch numbers,” he said.

The warm spring and good moisture had created good bud burst, and indications from across the region’s vineyards was that it looked “very promising” Mr Buck said.

What’s in the glass tonight Nov 10th


Te Mata Coleraine 2007

From the Cellar: Te Mata Coleraine (Cab Sav/Merlot/Cab Franc) 2007 – $$$

This is another of my heavyweights, on reputation alone perhaps the heaviest. This is arguably New Zealand’s most famous wine. Its reputation is based on both the quality of the wine, the length of its pedigree, and the marketing abilities of the producer.

I was first introduced to the 2000 vintage at a 2010 tasting, and I was blown away. I had never tasted an old wine before (at best, most of the wine I bought aged only a couple of hours from time of purchase), and I thought the depth and richness and complexity in the mouth and on the nose was a revelation. I was sold on the concept right then and there.

This version is dark carmine in colour. 14% and leggy.  I opened it to share with L over a nice roast of venison. Deep nose of black fruits, aniseed, raisins, pencil shavings. Black plums to taste. Firm tannins, good concentration, lots of life here for cellaring on.

I thought it seemed a bit thin to start with, but as the wine opened out in the air I could see the finesse, and appreciate the length, so I suspect I opened this bottle a couple of years too soon. I have a second bottle which I’ll keep to ‘17. Lovely drop. Reminds me of the Craggy Range Te Kahu 2010. 4

Te Tasting – Te Mata Estate Showcase 2013.


te mata 2

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!