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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Te Mata Rymer's Change Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004



Phil Parker hosts guided wine tours around Auckland New Zealand



It was one of those nights when we had friends over on Friday for a last minute dinner, but we had run out of chilled white wine. Quelle horreur!

So I ventured down to my under-stairs ‘cellar’ which sadly lacks any lighting, to see if I could find anything white in the gloom apart from my modest collection of not-to-be-touched Dry River wines. Hitting my head on the low door jamb, I loudly said something that rhymes with duck, and groped blindly in the musty murk. Bringing the bottle into the light I discovered I had grabbed a bottle of 2004 Sauvignon Blanc from Te Mata’s entry level Rymer’s Change label.

Now, most Savvies lose their intense fruit flavours after a year or two, so I was intrigued to see how this one fared after six years of cellaring, albeit under screw cap. I scrunched open the wine, poured about 100 ml into a large glass, swirled and sniffed. Aromas of roast bell pepper and cape gooseberry. Palate – soft and integrated flavours of the above, plus a hint of asparagus, and still some guava/tropical fruit showing through, with a lengthy finish. Yum! As a dedicated avoider of young savvies, this was a pleasure to drink.


Hawkes Bay icon – Te Mata produces internationally famous labels such as the Coleraine and Awatea Cabernet/ Merlots, Bullnose Syrah, and Elston Chardonnay. Owner John Buck is something of an industry legend and also claims to have the oldest winery in NZ (along with Mission Estate, and Auckland’s Pleasant Valley!) With no less than ten Hawkes Bay vineyards plus their newish Woodthorpe estate, they have a solid portfolio of wines.
The cellar Door is a striking white building designed by Wellington architect Ian Athfield. It features curved Deco-inspired lines, a ‘verandah’, and a tall chimney.

Notable wines – Elston and Woodthorpe Chardonnay,
Woodthorpe and Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, Awatea Cabernet/Merlot, Woodthorpe Cabernet/Merlot, Coleraine (blended red), Bullnose and Woodthorpe Syrah. Prices - $30 - $65.

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