The Alma Pinot Noir is a superb new addition to Te Mata Estate's premium range. Long established masters of Bordeaux style reds, Te Mata have been growing and making Pinot Noir (for export only) for over twenty years. It is only now with some serious vine age and the necessary winemaking experience that they have felt they could release a small parcel of this premium Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir along with an entry level offering. This is just the second ever Alma Pinot Noir release.
Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"Saturated, dark crimson, Alma Pinot Noir ’19 has an enticing nose of pomegranate, raspberry and black cherry syrup. Mineral and savoury notes – orange peel, peppercorns and sage – all glide across a serene surface of dark, fine tannin and lush ripe fruit. Alma Pinot Noir ’19 is structural. This is a wine of scope and horizons. Its depths are balanced by a lingering fruit acid tension that gives the wine a balletic level of poise, energy and grace.
Alma celebrates Dr James Thomson, a hero of the 1854 Battle of the Alma during the Crimean War and forefather to Te Mata Estate’s Buck family. Knowing the vanquished enemy soldiers had already contracted cholera, Dr Thomson volunteered to tend to their wounds, saving the lives of over four hundred, and sacrificing his own in the process. The medal he was awarded for this selfless act of valour appears on the label of Alma Pinot Noir."
92/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, October 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Raspberry and dried roses, a bit of sweet manure or kelp or something a bit on the savoury side, cinnamon and vanilla. Mediumbodied, a juicy uptake of red fruit and maybe a little baked plum. Tannin is fine-grained and set well inside the wine, a smattering of dried herb too, some ‘mineral’ feel to the acidity, and good length, a little bitter orange as it goes. Has some finesse for a HB Pinot, though veers a little into ‘dry red’ territory. Nice wine all up."
Reviews for the 2018 vintage below…
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, June 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Revealing elegance and sophistication, the engaging bouquet shows black doris plum, dark cherry, warm spice and toasted nut characters with nuances of truffle and floral. The palate displays outstanding concentration and focus, while offering rich texture and expansive mouthfeel, superbly framed by loads of fine, polished tannins. Multi-layered and magnificently flowing to an impressively long silky finish. The wine is gloriously composed and expressed, promising to evolve gracefully. The wine exhibits classic Te Mata elegance, freshness and refinement within a perfectly formed structure."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, July 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Moderately deep colour with a ruby rim. Delicately scented pinot noir with a plum, dark berry, liquorice, black pepper, anise, subtle dried herb and spicy oak flavours. Classy wine – an amplified version of the Estate Pinot Noir with a fairly solid influence of stylish oak."
94/100 Cameron Douglas MS, June 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"A very expressive velvet-textured bouquet showing lots of youthful power and energy as well as a core of fruit, oak and savoury complexity. Perfectly weighted on the palate, dry, savoury and fruity with a plum, cherry and spice flavour package. Whispers of dark rose and stony minerality. There’s no mistaking the impact of oak and whole bunch approach, but there’s enough weight and fruit to carry this aspect. Tannins and acidity are abundant. Overall a very nice wine, very young with an inherent complexity that should carry it well into the bottle developed phase. Best decanted for service with ideal drinking 2021 through 2026."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"Estate-grown inland, at the cool, elevated Woodthorpe Terraces vineyard, in the Dartmoor Valley, and matured in French oak barriques (over 50% new), it is deeply coloured, mouthfilling, rich and supple, with densely packed cherry, plum and spice flavours. A powerful, structured, youthful red, it’s well worth cellaring to 2022+."
Yvonne Lorkin, October 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Ultra-bright and bouncing with broody cherry and mulberry fruit, it’s fresh, vibrant and showing great depth and developing character. The fruit appears ripe and yet shows restraint and the tannins have good cling and I feel they’ll integrate further with the fruit over time. Savoury and showing elements of tree bark and spice – it’s firmly setting a benchmark for the region."
94/100 Huon Hooke, The Real Review, November 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Te Mata took a long time to enter the pinot market and this is a ripper: a serious pinot with depth of both colour and body, richness and structure. Concentrated dark cherry and plum flavours; full-bodied and firm with abundant tannins. I’d give it more time."