‘Superstar’ Coleraine scores 98 points

Premium New Zealand wine producer, Te Mata Estate, has seen the 2021 vintage of its flagship wine, Coleraine, awarded 98 points by the Wine Advocate – the highest score achieved by any of the wines tasted.

Erin Larkin, who reviewed a selection of Te Mata wines described the 2021 Coleraine as a ‘superstar’.

‘’It’s the best I recall seeing on release in recent years, a total “pleasure-dome” situation. Tea tree, oyster shell, lavender, black tea and tobacco leaf burst from the glass. Seamless, polished tannins grace the palate. There are notes of creamy red fruits, cassis and bramble, Asian five spice, black cherry and graphite/mineral skein. The persistence of flavour here is extraordinary; it’s detailed and nuanced but insistent in the mouth. The tannins cup the fruit in the mouth. Winemaker Phil Brodie said there are no enzymes or added tannin; it’s all from the vineyard. This is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. 2021 was left in barrel a little longer than the 2020 to refine the tannins. I buy this every year, regardless of conditions, and this year I am very smug about that.

Other Te Mata Estate wines that achieved remarkable scores were the Te Mata Awatea 2021 – 96 points, together with the Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2021, and the Te Mata Alma Pinot Noir 2021, both of which scored 94+ points.

Awatea-Cab-Merlot-bottle shot

Awatea 2021 

96 Points

The 2021 Awatea Cabernets-Merlot is a thrilling wine and a worthy entree to the Coleraine—one of the Southern Hemisphere’s best Cabernet blends. It’s bloody gorgeous. A sensational wine, it has detail, nuance and line, and it’s very long and placid but precise. The 2021 Awatea is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc that matured in barrel for 17 months, 30% new. This spent longer in barrel (by a month) than the 2020.

Bullnose-Syrah-bottle shot

Bullnose Syrah 2021

94+ Points

The 2021 Bullnose Syrah gives us Asian five spice, musk, red dirt, gravel and blueberry on the nose. There’s a distinctly darker fruit character on the palate, with red licorice, pomegranate, savory and gentle meat nuances. This is fleshy but with energy and finesse. Matured for 16 months in French oak (33% new), it’s almost creamy, with hints of cream soda and sarsaparilla, and there’s a spice/blood root character. This wine achieves that aspirational balance between sweet fruit and savory tannin.

Alma-Pinot-Noir-bottle shot

Alma Pinot Noir 2021

94+ Points

The 2021 Alma Pinot Noir leads with an aromatic splay of coffee grounds, black cherries, red apple skins and licorice. It’s incredibly aromatic in fact. You get wild strawberries, salted pomegranate, bramble, bay leaf, brine, a hint of truffle umami, wild lavender and spring florals. In the mouth, a skein of very finely textured mineral tannin shapes the fruit, and there are inflections of Korean mint and thyme. I expect this will unfurl over the next day or so. A beauty. Matured in barrel for 11 months (33% new).