Wine-making has moved along way forward from a French rustic with ruby cheeks sticking his pudgy fingers into a barrel. These days it’s all about computers, hydraulics and geology and a winery resembles a production factory of silver coloured tanks and pipes. There is the odd surprising ingredient like egg white to separate. All grape juice is white but red wine is fermented in red skin of grapes to provide the colour. The skill lies beforehand in the battle against nature with frost, flood, cold and many other variables. Add to that currency fluctuations as well as taste and image and you have a complex but enriching business.
Te Mata, though it does grow a medium priced sauvignon blanc for about £11, majors on its premium wines, the world renowned Coleraine and the rich and creamy Elston Chardonnay.
I was presented with a bottle of Coleraine. I took it back to the hotel and Duggie Heath ordered oysters and a juicy steak. It is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon , Cabernet Franc and Merlot which gives it this big but subtle flavour that fills the mouth gloriously .
As Duggie watched the debacle at Perth he took a great swig of the Coleraine and pronounced
“If you have to watch the Ashes being lost in a sea of sterility with no idea nor resource to dislodge Steve Smith, this is the way to do it.“