2017 Te Mata Estate Awatea Cabernets Merlot

From memory this is normally about half Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Cabernet Franc making up the other half. If you have a Bordeaux itch, then this will scratch it with a gentle hand and leave you with enough money to buy another or even trade up to a top of the range Coleraine. Spotless perfume of red berries, dried flowers, a touch of tobacco and that old school pencil box. Beautifully judged extraction to just medium bodied, Perhaps not quite the fruit sweetness or depth of the warmer year 2016 release but it does have that pleasing drag of fine dry tannin and acidity that brings to mind those oft repeated words, gravelly and mineral. What exactly mineral means is hard to say when there are so many minerals on planet earth but it will have to do. The reviews of the 2018 Coleraine are so good, there may be extravagant purchase looming notwithstanding the archaic use of tree bark. Hawkes Bay’s own first growth.

13% alcohol. Very smooth, expensive looking bit of cork. Around $40. The Coleraine is still under $100 which in world terms is value.

93 points.

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