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Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from New Zealand
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • 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

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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 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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG985120_2011 Item# 136664