Positioned below its Coleraine stablemate in Te Mata's hierarchy of Hawke's Bay, claret-style reds, since 1995 Awatea has been grown at Havelock North and in the Bullnose Vineyard, inland from Hastings. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – with a splash of Petit Verdot in most years since 2001 – it is hand-harvested and matured for 15 to 18 months in French oak barriques (partly new). Compared to Coleraine, in its youth Awatea is more seductive, more perfumed, and tastes more of sweet, ripe fruit, but it is more forward and slightly less concentrated. The wine can mature gracefully for many years, but is also typically delicious in its youth. The powerful 2019 vintage (5*) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (46 per cent), Merlot (32 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (22 per cent). Dark and purple-flushed, it is sturdy and savoury, with dense blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, a hint of herbs, excellent complexity and a silky-textured, very harmonious finish. Still very youthful, it should break into full stride 2024+.
Type: Red Wines
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet-predominant blends
Overall Rating for All Vintages Tasted: ★★★★★ – 5 Stars
Price: $40 NZD
Value for Money: AV
Buyer’s Guide 2022
This wine is a Super Classic.
When to drink: 2024