Te Mata Estate

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Awatea Cabernets/Merlot, Hawke’s Bay — 2020

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  • Introduction

    • First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot blend. 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.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • The grapes for Awatea 2020 were hand harvested from Te Mata Estate’s vineyards between March 19th and April 1st, 2020.

    • Appellation: Hawke's Bay
  • Vinification

    • 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 ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2021.

  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc
    • Alcohol: 14%
    • TA: 6.0 g/L
    • p H: 3.5
  • Tasting Notes

    • Awatea Cabernets/Merlot 2020 is a dark royal ruby; a bright purple glow at its edge. Immediate classical aromas of walnut and polished cedar shimmer amongst wild blackberry, currants, marzipan, and dusty sun-baked gravel. On the palate, red and black summer-fruits entwine with brilliant red roses, high notes of vanilla, and silky dark-chocolate tannin. Savoury, bright, and sumptuous.



  • Awatea Cabernets/Merlot, Hawke’s Bay — 2020 – Wine Advocate – 95 Points

    "Slightly lighter framed and less dense/powerful than the Coleraine, and with an admirably open and lusty fruit profile, the 2020 Awatea Cabernets Merlot gives the people what they want. It leads with leafy, elegant, very fine Cabernet fruit laden with cassis, pomegranate, ferrous notes, a hint of iodine and loads of bramble and bay leaf. The palate is populated by very fine, powdery tannins that shape the flow of flavor. Gorgeous."

  • Awatea Cabernets/Merlot, Hawke’s Bay — 2020 – James Suckling – 93 Points

    "I like the distinct pencil lead and graphite character here, with dark plums, bramble, dried herbs and black tea. Medium-bodied with a fine tannin frame. Linear. Restrained, yet excellent varietal expression."