A wine with real 'swagger' showcasing just how beautiful the reductive struck match/flint aromas can be.
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Taut, mouth-watering chardonnay in a rather Burgundian style, with a nice blend of fruit, oyster-shell, toast, spice and nutty oak flavours. Good weight and concentration. Accessible now but should respond well to a little bottle age.
This wine manages to walk the tightrope of richness and finesse, and it does it with swagger. It's no surprise that this powerful, highly concentrated Chardonnay was fermented in new oak barrels after a hiatus in 2018 – it certainly has the stuffing to take it. Hunting Hill is Kumeu's most reductive Chardonnay but its influence remains subtle, bringing the merest flint note and added tension to the nectarine and lemon peel flavors. Poised and well judged.
Kumeu River has long been the spearhead for New Zealand Chardonnay. Back in 1937, The Brajkovich family emigrated to New Zealand from their home country of Croatia. Back at home, they would both grow and produce wine for personal consumption. In 1944 the family purchased a small property with vineyards and started making wine. They started producing single-variety wines of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, their reputation started to take off in the 80’s for their quality.
Michael Brajkovich then had the vision to produce a Burgundy-influenced style of Chardonnay that featured indigenous yeasts, extended lees ageing, and malo-lactic fermentation. Fast forward to today and Kumeu River has won every accolade under the sun with the critics going crazy for the wines. “Amongst the very best Chardonnay producers in the world” standing “shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the grandest labels from Burgundy” are words uttered by Neal Martin (Vinous).
Kumeu Rivers prices are and have always been incredibly fair. You can essentially drink what is equivalent to Burgundy 1er or Grand Cru quality for around €30 per bottle. Their entry-level Village Chardonnay is one of our favourites for the value picks and we're known to drink it by the buckets upon release. The single-vineyard expressions of Mate's, Hunting Hill, Coddington and Rays Vineyards are all fantastic and we can't recommend them enough.