Te Mata Estate - Havelock Hills, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
A winery steeped in local history.
Te Mata Estate ranks as one of the oldest established wineries in New Zealand.
The land itself was a pastoral land holding originally established by John Chambers in 1854 with a homestead and stables being built in the 1870's.
It's first vines were planted in 1892 by Chambers' son with the first vintage being 1896.
This historic location has an interesting feel to it.
When you approach the building itself I was reminded of a kind of theme park.
The style is older, like a clean, bright coat of paint on the skeleton of something much more ancient.
Coming into the compact cellar door I am greeted by my friendly host and small but well laid-out cellar door.
The 6 wine available for tasting that day consisted of a few gems.
From excellent hawke's bay Sauv Blancs, the fantastic Elston Chardonnay, an excellent Syrah and a great premium Bordeaux blend to the one that really piqued my curiosity : the Gamay Noir.
This must be the first commercial release of the variety in New Zealand in modern times and I have to say it is absolutely beautiful. This red wine grape of the Beaujolais region in France ripens earlier than Pinot Noir and is much easier to cultivate. This wine should be enjoyed exactly as it is in Beaujolais; quite chilled.
Yes a red wine you should chill.
This is a huge, fruity wine, full of bright yet complex cherry notes and combined with the current 2013 vintage is absolutely top-notch.