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Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from New Zealand
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • JS96
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • W&S91
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Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Hunting Hill is beautifully fragrant with its lemon/lime blossom characters and lovely fruit purity. This wine shares some of the characters with the neighboring Mate's Vineyard with its attractive floral notes and restrained elegance. The Hunting Hill vineyard has a particularly pure character that, in its youth, displays a tight and crisp palate which needs some bottle age to reveal the power and concentration that lies beneath the surface.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 96
James Suckling
The vineyard that sits above Mate's Vineyard, and this has immense verve and energy, offering intense grapefruit citrus and nectarine, with some flint and stony, chalky notes. The palate is taut and full of excitement and tension. Terrific acidity drives concentrated fruit flavor along. It winds tight and pithy through the finish.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Wow – the 2011 Hunting Hill Chardonnay shows off an incredible nose of exotic fruits, spices and savories including mango, guava, pineapple paste and yeast extract over touches of brioche, cashews, fresh ginger, cinnamon toast and coriander seed with a whiff of honeysuckle. Medium to full-bodied, rich and seductive in the mouth, this Chardonnay is one for the hedonists as it offers an array of tropical fruit and spice flavors balanced by racy acidity and a finish with great length. Drink it now to 2021+.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Starts out firm and juicy, with green apple, Asian pear and lemon zest notes, but then gains momentum, with toast, vanilla bean, candied ginger and honeycomb details, culminating in a detailed, refreshing wine with a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2026.
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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 distinctive, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only one that is 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 is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, known for its trademark herbaceous and vegetal character. This pungent, aromatic variety accounts 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, trailing behind Sauvignon Blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago, the southernmost winegrowing region in the world. These wines are known for bright, 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 wine.

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.

YNG985120_2011 Item# 136664