Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2018
The nose shows the ripe peach and nutty character that we expect to see from the Estate Chardonnay. The texture is supple and with a beautiful bracing acidity on the finish. The wine is delicious now and will provide beautiful drinking over the next 6 years.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Within Kumeu’s wide range of Chardonnays (after all, this far northern winery has carved its reputation on the variety), its estate wine is the one to go for if drinking young, although it will continue to blossom over the next five to seven years. Exceptionally food-friendly, it offers all the length and class of the upper-tier wines, but with more upfront appeal in the form of bright citrus and pear fruit, white spice and honey. Like with its brethren, the palate stars in the show with texture and acidity striking a graceful balancing act, and with oak taking a back seat.
The 2018 Estate Chardonnay delivers typical toasty-mealy aromas, plus notes of tangerine, white peach and pineapple. Medium-bodied and silky in texture, it's a bit restrained at this stage of its evolution, but it should blossom within another six months or so, then drink well for up to a decade.
Michael Brajkovich, MW, blends this wine from six estate vineyards in Kumeu, holding to a consistently savory, structured style of chardonnay. Its flavors of nectarine, white peach and pithy lemon gained a broad and creamy texture from oak aging, while the fruit is saturated enough to remain the focus. A clean New World chardonnay with Old World elegance.
Founded in 1944 by Mick Brajkovich, wife Katé and son Maté, Kumeu River was one of the early pioneers in Auckland, New Zealand, that helped to establish its reputation as a world-class wine region. Still family owned and run, Kumeu River continues to pioneer new frontiers: winemaker Michael Brajkovich became New Zealand’s first member of the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine, London, they have been testing and championing screw cap closures for close to 20 years and the winery has gone on to become the globally recognized benchmark for non-Burgundy produced Chardonnay. All Kumeu River wines are hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and demonstrate exclusive use of indigenous yeast fermentation.
The Chardonnays of Kumeu River have gained a strong foothold within the international market, continuously and consistently receiving outstanding accolades. The winery is a globally recognized benchmark for age-worthy Chardonnay outside of Burgundy.
Grape-growers in the local subregions of Clevedon, Matakana and Waiheke Island, focusing on vineyard techniques to maximize quality, are producing very fine Bordeaux Blends from local grapes. Auckland is also an industrial area where winemakers can produce quality wines based on sourced grapes from neighboring regions.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.