Well Seasoned: Te Mata Awatea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009

This Cabernet dominant Bordeaux blend from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand has really got its groove on. From the celebrated estate of Te Mata, winemaker Phil Brodie and the executive team of directors have championed that the 2009 vintage for Awatea was standout. Indeed it certainly got my attention one frosty Marlborough evening.

With no discernible cork taint (yay!), it exhibited lovely uplifted fruit of dark plum, blackberry and cassis accompanied by warm spice and cedar notes. The elegant palate resonates with chocolate and herbaceous savoury characters. Vinification involved an initial 18 months spent in new and seasoned French oak, after which blending took place, and a subsequent maturing time in barrel, which imbues the Awatea with a soft  but fine, meaningful tannin structure. Egg white fining ensures there is no coarseness, simply a long abiding finish.

91 points
Currently on sale at Countdown supermarkets at $NZD30.99

Food match: A great paring with seared beef fillet with roast pumpkin and garlic mash, brussel sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and bacon.