I’ve occasionally written up Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc wines on this site and have expressed some reservations about the style in light of its more famous cousin to the South. I’ve been waiting for a wine to change my mind and I may have found it in this Te Mata number.
Prickly, rich aromas of passionfruit with a bit of herbal astrigency. On its own terms, this is a very sniffable aroma, quite different from the Marlborough wines but no lesser for it. It’s a bright wine, but less aggressive in comparison and consequently more approachable. On entry, good impact both via structure and flavour intensity. There’s no shortage of fruit here, passionfruit jumping onto the tongue along with a nice line of fine acid and some other complexing flavours. Quite impressive. It reminds me a bit of Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc in its clean, bright and fruit-driven flavour profile. Not as rich as some Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had, and I like this leaner profile, as it successfully avoids the laziness observed in some other wines. Not especially long.
Nice wine and, for me, a viable alternative to Marlborough.
Te Mata Estate
Date tasted: December 2008