First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke's Bay cabernet/merlot blend. Floral aromas with intense blackberry, currant and dark plum flavours lead to a rich, supple palate with a sustained finish. Awatea will continue to evolve in bottle for ten years from harvest.
Awatea takes its name from the historic ship SS Awatea (a Maori word meaning “Eye of
the Dawn”) that sailed the Auckland – Sydney – Wellington route in the late 1930s. The
Awatea was requisitioned as troop transport in WWII and was sunk off Algeria in 1942.
The grapes for Awatea ’21 were hand harvested from Te Mata Estate’s vineyards between 9 and 29 March 2021.
The separate parcels of grapes were destemmed before a traditional warm-plunged
fermentation and extended maceration on skins. The resulting wines were then run to
new and seasoned French oak barrels for 17 months. Throughout this time, they were
regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in December 2021, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2022. The final blend is 50% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 14% cabernet franc.
A deep brilliant crimson with an underlying amethyst hue, Awatea ’21 immediately
offers up concentrated blackcurrant, blackberry, dark plum, cocoa-powder and cedar
with a subtle marine note in the background. The ripe dark and red fruit is fresh and
varietally defined, enlivening the wine with layers of brightness, persistence and appeal.
This depth of fruit, balanced by the bright, ripe, acid tension, carries right through to its fine dry finish. The most concentrated Awatea ever this ’21 is a delight.
Total acidity as tartaric 5.7gpl
Residual Sugar Dry