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Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from New Zealand
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • W&S91
13.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • JS96
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WS93
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2012 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
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Produced from UCD Clone 15 Chardonnay, the 2012 Hunting Hill has an explosive nose - a citrus bomb - with tons of tropical and stone fruit layers plus nuances of crushed stones, nuts and baker's yeast. it gives tons of flavor layers in the medium-bodied mouth, although very tightly knit, with a gorgeous satiny texture and an incredibly long finish. Simply a stunning wine, this will greatly reward a further 2-6+ years of cellaring.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
In 2012, my favorite of the Kumeu River Chardonnays is the medium- to full-bodied, creamy-textured offering from Hunting Hill. Think streusel-topped citrus, but dry, with a long, harmonious finish. Editors' Choice.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Tangy lemon meringue, honey and pear flavors show an appealing buttery note, with floral and spice highlights, a delicate but refreshing acidity and silky texture. Plenty of spice and Meyer lemon notes crescendo on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Barrel fermented without added yeast, this wine attained fine clarity, with spice and mead-like richness against clean fruit. It has the gentle fragrance of a lobster broth, with which it would pair well.
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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.

YNG985121_2012 Item# 142194