After missing a vintage in 2017, Zara Viognier is back with a stunning release from 2018.
After 23 vintages Te Mata have learnt how to produce a benchmark wine. Fermented and aged in mainly older oak – 1 new barrel used – with some barrel stirring. The trick with Viognier is to get the balance of alcohol and phenolics right – too many taste ‘hot’ and bitter. Not the Zara. It bursts with floral, peach, fennel flavours. Full but fresh on the palate. We can’t recall a better release.
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"A fairytale of a wine, Zara Viognier ’18 is fine straw-gold and weaves ripe white peach, fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle into a lively, finely textured and opulent experience. Hints of nectarine, apricot and liquorice on the nose transform to voluptuous lychee, popcorn and ginger syrup on the palate. From a spectacular vintage, Zara Viognier ’18 is a ripe-fruited dream, spun from New Zealand’s oldest viognier vines."
5 Stars & 95/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, February 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"This is outstanding. Gorgeously fruited and fragrant, the wine shows ripe apricot, rockmelon, thyme and floral characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is wonderfully weighted and expansive. It is elegantly opulent and varietally expressive with rich texture and bright acidity, leading to a lingering delicious finish. At its best: now to 2025."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"This estate-grown wine is from Woodthorpe Terraces, on the south side of the Dartmoor Valley in Hawke's Bay. Hand-picked, it is partly fermented and lees-aged in seasoned French oak barrels. This seductively soft wine is from a classic grape of the Rhone Valley. Fragrant and fleshy, it has deep, ripe stone fruit flavours, barrel-ferment complexity and a dry, lastings finish."
Reviews for the 2016 vintage below…
5 Stars & 18.5+/20 (94) Raymond Chan, March 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Bright, even straw-yellow colour. This has an elegantly presented nose with a tight core of apricots, citrus zest and white and yellow florals, along with savoury apricot kernels. The fruit aromas show clarity, revealing nuances of nutty oak. Dry to taste and firm on palate, this has good depth and density of apricot and citrussy fruits, with savoury kernel elements. The palate is rich, with a degree of unctuousness, and has some underlying alcohol drive, the wine flowing along a fine-textured line, with bright acidity in support. The savoury flavours carry to a lingering rich finish. This is a rich and complex, savoury apricotty Viognier with power and good acidity. 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Woodthorpe Terrace’ vineyard, vines 20+ y.o., fully barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 10 months on lees in 5% new oak undergoing 100% MLF."
Sue Courtney, wineoftheweek.com (2016 Vintage)
"This is a lustrous citrine hue and the bouquet offers haunting scents of apricot, mango and tropical fruit that is ripe, bright and sweet to the taste. It’s lightly oily in texture with musky spices and a touch of white pepper while the use of neutral oak adds palate weight and a harmonious complexity but only the most subtle oak taste."
94/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, October 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Great smelling wine here with ginger and spices, jasmine and rosewater, fresh apricot and white peach. Turns distinctly savoury in the mouth, with cheesy solids and a little struck match complexity, though the verity of fruit is not compromised. Fine bright acidity keeps it trim, and perfume and spice trails on a long finish. Tasting it made me sit up a little straighter, not least given it’s a Viognier. Very very good."