I took advantage of the opportunity of having both the 'big brother' and the 'little brother' from the same vintage available and opened one of each at the same time.
The Estate wine is quite fragrant with really nice melon and stone-fruit characters and a little bit of nuttiness.
The taste is bright and refreshing but still with some weight to it. There is a creaminess in the mouth which becomes more obvious the longer the wine is open (I kept it in the fridge and tasted over three days).
This is a great wine and I'll be looking out for deals in the future. The double discounted price brought it down to about $16 a bottle.
'Big brother' Elston was tighter on the nose initially with a mineral character that the Estate didn't have - the Estate being more fruity. There are the same stone-fruit characters but a bit more nuttiness along with honey and fresh bread (like a Blanc de Blanc Champagne).
The taste is more oaky but finishes fresh. The acidity will drop over time and the bigger fruit will be there longer. This looks like it will round out to a sumptuous chardonnay. I'd better get some more.
Having these side by side was interesting . The colours are different with the Elston being a bit more golden.
The Estate wine is lighter on the nose and fruitier with the Elston being denser, showing more wood and malolactic character with a whiff of something else - perhaps complexity from being sealed with a cork instead of screw-cap.
There is definitely a 'family resemblance'. Well done to Te Mata for consistency and faithfullness to terroir.
I like trying different wines from the same stable side by side. Often the lesser wine is of a more recent vintage than the bigger wine but these two are from the same 2017 vintage. With other good producers the top wine is usually a lot more expensive. With Te Mata they've kept the price of Elston down to a reasonable level given its quality.
I've got some Sacred Hill in the cellar - Rifleman's and The Wine Thief chardonnays but the Rifleman's is 2016 vintage and The Wine Thief is 2017 so the side by side comparison won't be as exact. Rifleman's also is a helluva a lot more expensive that The Wine Thief so ready comparisons are fewer and further in between.