It may have taken about three years to prepare but it took just 10 days to disappear - from the shelves of Te Mata Estate Winery in Havelock North.

It was the 2013 Coleraine which has been internationally lauded by wine writers and Masters of Wine as one of New Zealand's very finest red offerings.

And as Te Mata Estate director Nicholas Buck said, that would almost certainly happen again on the traditional March 1 release date - which this year will be the Coleraine 2014 which will have a special feel to it as it will help celebrate 120 years of winemaking at Te Mata Estate.

"It always sells out and its been building over the 30 years we've been making it."


He said the 2013 vintage for all winemakers across the region had been exceptional and the 2014 season had effectively followed suit.

"It was an extremely strong vintage."

For wine lovers the imminent release of the '14 will be good news, given that in 2013 the Coleraine failed to emerge, as the cloudy 2012 season did not produce what the winemakers believed was fruit good enough for the name.

That year's wine was instead rebranded as Awatea.

And the news for Coleraine lovers gets better - the 2015 is set for blending next week.

Mr Buck said the accolades the Coleraine 2013 had picked up had been greeted by the winery staff as something of a New Year's honour.

Masters of Wine Bob Campbell and Rebecca Gibb both declared the Coleraine as among their top wines of 2015.

"When Coleraine was first made in 1982 it was light years ahead of any New Zealand red wine produced before then - and it has since become the country's most iconic wine label," Mr Campbell said.


Sam Kim of described the 2013 Coleraine as "perfection" and awarded it a maximum 100 points.

One of the industry's leading wine masters, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, named the Coleraine '13 as one of her three best New Zealand wines of that vintage.

"The Coleraine has been elevated into new top territory here and overseas, which is not only great for us but also for Hawke's Bay," Mr Buck said.

The wines of both 2013 and 2014 had generated major international recognition of what had been produced in Hawke's Bay - and that was now being built upon.

"We are seeing real optimism and buoyancy out there."

At this stage the 2016 vintage was "looking very good but we are only half way through the season at this stage - so let's wait and see," Mr Buck said. "But the vineyards are dry and that's what we like."


Te Mata Estate has five vineyards totalling 15ha on the free draining soils of the Havelock Hills north-facing slopes.

In 1996 the Havelock Hills area was recognised for the significance of its natural and viticultural heritage when it was designated the Te Mata Special Character Zone.