In a nutshell: A quite superlative New Zealand red blend from Hawke's Bay and one of the country's most famous wines.
The lowdown: Since this first appeared in 1982 it has become one of the most collectable of New Zealand wines. Described by Decanter magazine as "New Zealand's First Growth" Coleraine is a classic Bordeaux blend of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc from several of Te Mata's finest plots. The different plots were harvested, fermented and matured in new French oak at first before being blended into the final wine 9 months later. This final blend then spent another several months maturing in barrel before being bottled in December 2016. Vibrant floral, dark fruit and sweet spice aromas lead onto a textured, complex and refined full-bodied and still lively palate of concentrated cassis and black cherry fruit flavours with notes of cedar and spice.
When to drink: As with any top class Claret, Coleraine has the ageing potential to last well into the 2030s
Located in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand's North Island the Te Mata Estate is the country's oldest winery. Things started with the planting of 3 vineyards on the Havelock Hills back in 1892 and these remain part of the estate and are the source of fruit for some of their most famous wines. The modern era for Te Mata really started in 1978 when it was taken over by John and Wendy Buck. Under their stewardship the estate rapidly earned a reputation for producing excellent reds from Bordeaux varieties and whites from Chardonnay. In more recent times they've broadened out their plantings and increased their vineyard holdings to encompass all parts of Hawke's Bay making the most of the favourable soils and climate of the region.
While their most famous wine is Coleraine, which is named after John Buck's grandfather's home town in Northern Ireland, they also have several other top wines in their collection among them the Bullnose Syrah and Elston Chardonnay. The next generation of the Buck family in the shape of Nick, Jonathan and Tobias are at the helm these days and the senior winemaker is Phil Brodie who is a native of Hawke's Bay and has been at Te Mata since 1992.