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."
Rated Outstanding & 95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, February 2021 (2019 Vintage)
"Very ripe, fresh, fruit centric, varietal, with fresh red berries, some carbonic suggestions, Beaune village thoughts come to mind. Raspberry and red cherry. Dry, tense, focused and youthful on the palate. Great mouthfeel with some savoury elements showing alongside the core of fruit. Specific cooperage releases appealing flavours and textures of oak. Tannins are firm and somewhat chalky. Primary and youthful, lengthy and well made. Best from 2022 – late through 2030."
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, February 2021 (2019 Vintage)
"Expressing precision and poise, the wine shows perfumed aromas of sweet cherry, floral and warm spice with spicy oak nuances. The palate delivers delectably juicy fruit flavours together with soothing mouthfeel and savoury undertones backed by fine tannins, leading to a gorgeously long seductive finish. At its best: 2023 to 2032."
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. Medium bodied, 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 & 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."
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."