5 Stars - Michael Cooper
"Positioned below its Coleraine stablemate in Te Mata’s hierarchy of Hawke’s Bay, claret-style reds, since 1995 Awatea has been grown at Havelock North and in the Bullnose Vineyard, inland from Hastings. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – with a splash of Petit Verdot in most years since 2001 – it is hand-harvested and matured for 15 to 18 months in French oak barriques (partly new). Compared to Coleraine, in its youth Awatea is more seductive, more perfumed, and tastes more of sweet, ripe fruit, but it is more forward and slightly less concentrated. The wine can mature gracefully for many years, but is also typically delicious in its youth. The powerful 2019 vintage (5*) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (46 per cent), Merlot (32 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (22 per cent). Dark and purple-flushed, it is sturdy and savoury, with dense blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, a hint of herbs, excellent complexity and a silky-textured, very harmonious finish. Still very youthful, it should break into full stride 2024+."

5 Stars - Sam kim Wine Orbit
"Instantly satisfying and inviting on the nose, showing blackcurrant, dried herb, floral and spicy oak characters, leading to a delectably expressed palate that’s filled with dark and red fruit flavours with a discreet oak infusion. Offering excellent structure and immense drinkability at the same time, it’s hugely charming and enticing. A blend of 46% cabernet sauvignon, 32 merlot & 22 cabernet Franc. At its best: 2024 to 2034"

96 Points - Cameron Douglas
"Very youthful and concentrated with dark berries and clove vanilla oak, smoky and forward, varietal and urgent. Great wine - young and needs time, but has power and muscle I have not really noticed before. Spicy plums and dark berries, black berry and black currant. Firm tannins and acidity, youthful, focused, high energy and very exciting. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028+"

First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke's Bay cabernet/merlot blend. Floral aromas with intense blackberry, currant and dark plum flavours lead to a rich, supple palate with a sustained finish. Awatea will continue to evolve in bottle for ten years from harvest.

winery note
"Edged with a brilliant crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’19 has a rich magenta core, with dark plum, blackberry, and lush black cherry forming the deep heart of this wine. There’s grace notes of cola and cassis, bay leaf, lavender, and tapenade. Ripe acid and long tannins give a layered richness that builds in length and texture. The classic aromas of the best vintages are already present, the hallmark of age-ability. Awatea Cabernets/ Merlot ’19 is a resplendent vintage, and full of appeal. Best enjoyed from a large glass, with a hard cheese, and good company."

"The separate parcels of grapes were destemmed before a traditional warm, plunged fermentation and extended maceration on skins. The resulting wines were then run to new and seasoned French oak barrels for 15 months’ ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January 2020, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2020"

Awatea Cabernets/Merlot from Te Mata Estate on Vimeo.




New Zealand


Hawkes Bay


46% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 22% cabernet franc.


Medium bodied reds


Phil Brodie





Bottle size:










Food Match:

Hard Cheese

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