St Jerome Matuka Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 1998 (review)

84 points

Matuka, Auckland, New Zealand. 14%

This is the antithesis of industrial wine. First in that this is the current vintage for sale (7-8 years old). Second it is definitely handcrafted in quite a French bordeaux winemaking style. It definitely reflects its terroir (the good and the bad). And it is worth drinking for this reason and that the style is an enjoyable one.

1998 was a good vintage in New Zealand. It occasionally produced some wines of great depth and ripeness. Here there is some of this, along with some weakness in the mid palate, some dilute grapes, and some green flavours, and some hot alcohol. The greenness mingles with the classic bitterness of the winemaking style. The result is very much a table friendly wine, ready to drink now, a dry style, a touch flabby, with very limited aging potential.

It’s a good honest wine (though it has some pretentions of greatness, eg the label makes a thing of it being handpicked and unfiltered), with distinctive style for New Zealand. The sort of wine largely doomed to pick up bronze medals in wine shows – which illustrates one of the problems with wine shows.


1 thought on “St Jerome Matuka Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 1998 (review)

  1. Disagree on the cellar potential of this wine. Ive tried every vintage made mostly at the 5-10 year mark and it does develop extremely well. The 1989 and 1991 are the stars and id imagine they are still drinking

    1998 was a top vintage in NZ for reds esp Hawkes Bay though in Auckland it was average. Many of the waiheke stars struggled – even stonyridge put out a pretty ordinary wine.

    The 1998 of St Jeromes has been pretty impressive when I have tried it, definitely better than the 1999 version. it is a label that can be a touch rustic and feral though I didnt really pick that up in the 98

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