2003 Te Mata Estate Coleraine


Back in the day, when I used to cover New Zealand, it was clear that the country boasted a clutch of wines that could truly repay cellaring. One of those was Coleraine from Te Mata Estate in Hawkes Bay. I have been fortunate to taste a few mature vintages of their flagship Bordeaux blend sourced from the Havelock Hills, which debuted with the 1989 vintage and is named after the birthplace of John Buck’s grandfather in Northern Ireland. However, I had not encountered one with 20 years on the clock until one was poured at a recent tasting.

The 2003 Te Mata Estate Coleraine is splendid at 20 years of age. It has an almost understated bouquet that gradually unfurls in the glass: red plum, camphor, lavender and allspice. This becomes very seductive as it finds its groove. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that frame lightly spiced dark berry fruit. Hints of wild mint, sandalwood, black pepper and sage are cohesive with a gentle grip on the finish. Coleraine has real pedigree and would show a few 2003 Clarets a thing or two about freshness. 93/Drink 2023-2038.

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