Te Mata Estate Awatea Cabernets Merlot 2020 $40

If I were in a hostage situation and the gunman said “Somebody better tell me what’s the greatest local Bordeaux-style red wine that I can buy for under fifty bucks, in the next five seconds or the granny gets it!” I would be hollering “Te Mata Awatea 2020!” quick as a flash, saving an old lady in the process. 2020 was a magical vintage for Hawke’s Bay across the board, but for those crafting cabernet-based reds, it was a dream. Awatea is affectionately known as baby Coleraine, and it is already a national icon, but this vintage will catapult it into a ‘must have’. Finely-tuned blueberry and boysenberry combine with concentrated cherry and dark plum and white pepper on the nose, while a whisper of charred oak forms a bridge for flavours of dark cocoa, buoyant berries, bay and tobacco to flow across. The tannins have a sensuous grip and velvety cling and in its 40-year history – this vintage could be the greatest yet.

I love this wine. Te Mata Estate