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 a troop transport in WWII and was sunk off Algeria in 1942.
VINEYARDS: The grapes for Awatea ’19 were hand harvested from Te Mata Estate’s vineyards between 26 and 28 March 2019.
WINEMAKING: 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 15 months’ ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January 2020, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2020. The final blend is 46% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 22% cabernet franc.
Edged with a brilliant crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’19 has a rich magenta core, with dark plum, blackberry, and lush black cherry forming the deep heart of this wine. There’s grace notes of cola and cassis, bay leaf, lavender, and tapenade. Ripe acid and long tannins give a layered richness that builds in length and texture. The classic aromas of the best vintages are already present, the hallmark of age-ability. Awatea Cabernets/ Merlot ’19 is a resplendent vintage, and full of appeal. Best enjoyed from a large glass, with a hard cheese, and good company
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