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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from New Zealand
  • WS92
  • RP91
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • JS93
  • TP91
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • RP91
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  • JS90
  • WS92
  • RP92
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  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

#76 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2008 vintage came at the end of a wonderful summer and produced peachy and luscious Chardonnays. The Estate Chardonnay from this vintage displays the "golden queen" peach and honey characters combined with the hint of hazelnut typical of this wine. The rich silky texture and length of flavour are distinct characteristics that we expect to see from the Estate Chardonnay. This is a wine that is undoubtedly delicious to drink now because of the ripeness of the vintage but experience with vintages such as this also indicates that the wine will benefit from bottle age of 2 to 5 years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
A wonderful balance between crisp, steely notes of citrus, pear and green apple and complex flavor nuances on a smooth texture, with floral, lime peel and tobacco details. The finish just goes on and on. Drink now through 2016. 2,000 cases imported.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Estate Chardonnay is barrel fermented using natural yeasts and about 20% new French oak.100% goes through malo-lactic. It has pronounced passion fruit, ripe white peach, green mango and toast aromas with some cashew and oatmeal and a whiff of lemon curd. Very crisp, tight and medium bodied, the toast and exotic fruit flavors are concentrated, encased in a creamy texture and leading to a very long finish. This wine is still a little tight and will benefit from 6-12 months in bottle, drinking until 2016+.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of several vineyard parcels, Kumeu River’s Estate bottling is the best value in the winery’s impressive lineup of 2008 Chardonnays. It shows all of the toasty, leesy notes of the single-vineyard wines, medium body and a bright core of zesty pineapple fruit. Drink now–2014.
Rating: Editors' Choice
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Kumeu River

Kumeu River

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Kumeu River, New Zealand
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Kumeu River, our story of how the Brajkovich family came to New Zealand; brought wine making knowledge with them from Croatia to their new adopted home; and went on to be a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry.

Just as the Brajkovich family has grown, so too has the winery itself. Extensions and additions mark the milestones that have seen business adapt and expand over the years. Today, the winery produces around 250,000 bottles annually from 30 hectares of its own vineyards in Kumeu, and another 10 hectares from local growers.

The Chardonnay wines of Kumeu River have gained a strong foothold within the international market, receiving outstanding accolades. The vineyard has gone on to become the globally recognised benchmark for non-Burgundy produced Chardonnay.

But that is today; the Kumeu River Winery has been built on generations of hard work, belief, and a commitment to producing a world-class wine.

New Zealand

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A relatively young but extremely promising wine-producing country, New Zealand is widely recognized for its distinctive wines made from the aromatic, Sauvignon blanc. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only New Zealand grape capable of delighting wine lovers—and in a very wallet-friendly manner, at that.

The world’s most southerly vineyards are found here, with significant climatic variation both between and within the warmer North Island and the cooler South Island. Overall, the climate is maritime, with plenty of rainfall, as well as abundant sunshine. Producers have almost unilaterally embraced cutting-edge winery technology, resulting in clean, high-quality wines at every price point.

Sauvignon blanc, known here for its trademark herbaceous character, is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, accounting for an overwhelming majority of the country’s exports.

Chardonnay is the second-most important white variety and takes on a supple texture and citrus and tropical fruit aromas in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, respectively. Pinot noir, second behind Sauvignon blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago—the moust southerly winegrowing region in the world! These wines are known for bright and juicy red fruit. Taking cues from the wines of Alsace, aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer shine in Martinborough, while red Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have found success in Hawke’s Bay. Throughout New Zealand but especially in Marlborough, Pinot noir and Chardonnay are used to produce traditional method sparkling wines.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

MSW54602081_2008 Item# 113697