Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate remains family owned, producing internationally recognized wines exclusively from its Hawke’s Bay vineyards. A temperate maritime climate with low rainfall, due to the rain shadow from mountains to the west, ensures Te Mata’s sites make the most of every vintage. At the heart of Te Mata Estate are the Havelock Hills Vineyards - the first legally-protected vineyards in New Zealand. Te Mata has five sites on these free draining, north-facing slopes. Soils to the east are mostly sandy loam over a sandstone base, and towards the west are sandy loam over a thin layer of clay and a silica pan. The distinctive shape of the hills is due to their comparative youth, in geological terms. At the meeting point of two tectonic plates, sandstone has been pushed up then worn away relatively quickly leaving a landscape of steep and gentle slopes, and terraces ideal for grape-growing. Under vine for over 120 years, and including some of the oldest grape growing sites in New Zealand, the Havelock Hills are protected for their distinct character, special ambience and unique viticultural heritage.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Ras el hanout (راس الحانوت) is a spice mix that means ‘head of the shop’, and maybe we have a bull in a shop here, such is the level of exotic spice and perfume pumping out of the glass. In with that, some lavender and vanilla, cherry and redcurrant, a smattering of green herb too. It’s light to medium-bodied, fine emery tannin, juicy raspberry acidity and flavour, inner-mouth perfume and spiced wood aromatic, and a dusty white pepper texture and taste on a cool long finish. Nice and ‘minerally’ too. You have to like them spicy and lithe, and if so, this’ll be close to the top of the shop for you.