Monday, 24 March 2008

Te Mata Woodthorpe Estate (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand) from the archives

In the early hours of East Monday morning I had a call from a friend in New Zealand. It's summer there and although Wellington is never baking hot, it's certainly warmer than the UK just now. This took me back to the time Monsieur Vin and I talk a road trip from the top to bottom of the land of the long white cloud, before settling in Wellington. One of our stops was in Napier on the east coast and we took the opportunity to investigate what was on offer at the local vineyards. We had some delightful wines, one of which I thoroughly enjoyed and have since found for sale in Edinburgh!
The Te Mata estate is one of the oldest, if not the oldest in NZ and dates back to the 1890's. Just to the west of Napier along the Tutaekuri river is the Woodthorpe vineyard. We had the 2004 vintage and as I look back at my notes I described it as:

Deep crimson colour. Red berry fruits, fresh gentle aromas. Peppery spices to both aroma and taste. Smooth balanced fine tannins.

The splash of viognier with the spicy syrah is a traditional wine making technique in France’s Rhône Valley. I think the combination really works and unlike some NZ wines this wine develops over time and benefits from being left in the bottle 2-4 years after harvest.

It's a great wine - if you can find it, give it a go.

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