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Featured Reviews

Te Motu Waiheke Island 2013

31 July,2018

When Terry Dunleavy and his family purchased 12 ha of land in the Onetangi Valley on Waiheke Island in 1988, to plant vines, they joined a select group aspiring to make great Bordeaux variety-based wine. There have been a number of stellar wines on the way, including the inaugural 1993 vintage. Nowadays it’s the next generation that is running the operation, with Sam Dunleavy taking over the viticulture and winemaking from his father John, who was there from the beginning. Rory Dunleavy is responsible for the marketing and sales, his father Paul still in the position of managing director. Te Motu has approx. 5.5 ha of vines with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc making the larger part of the plantings, with Malbec, Carmenere and Syrah completing the plantings. Almost all of the annual 1,000 case production comes from estate vines, the proportion of flagship ‘Te Motu’, Merlot dominant ‘Kokoro’, Cabernet Franc-based ‘Tipua’ and ‘Dunleavy’ bottlings varying according to the vintage. 2013 was a particularly favourable year, which Sam Dunleavy describes as "one of the best Waiheke has seen” with "perfect harvest conditions”. Here, I review the 2013 Te Motu.


Te Motu Onetangi Valley Waiheke Island 2013 «

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland


Full, very dark, near impenetrable black-hued red, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very fresh and primary, with intensely concentrated and penetrating aromas of blackcurrants and cassis liqueur, harmoniously entwined with mint and dark herbs, unveiling some blackberry notes with some spicy, nutty oak. This has excellent clarity of expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant, lively fruit flavours of succulent blackcurrant fruit along with blackberries and cassis liqueur. The fruit has real intensity and depth, and forms an elegant, highly concentrated core, unfolding notes of dark plums and mint herbs, along with nutty, pencilly oak. The fruit richness is balanced by considerable structure with flowery tannin extraction. The wine flows with plenty of vitality and underlying acidity leading to a long, fresh, sweet-fruited finish. This is an impressively concentrated rich and sweet-fruited Cabernet-based blend with vibrant blackcurrant, cassis and herb notes on a fine structured, serious palate. Match with roasted lamb and beef over the next 10-15 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 30% new French oak. 19.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $140.00

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