Kumeu River 'Mates Vineyard' Chardonnay 2022
1 or more bottles$84.99
Cameron Douglas98 points
Bob Campbell MW95 points
Jancis Robinson17+ points
If you can taste history, duty, and family pride in a glass, it’s there in the Kumeu River Chardonnays.
The Brajkovich family and Kumeu River Wines is a story that parallels the New Zealand wine industry. From the pioneering days to the establishment of the New Zealand wine industry to today, the Brajkovich family have been internationally recognised as producing world class wine. The Brajkovichs are focused on and internationally recognised as producing world class Chardonnay. One of the distinguishing factors of Kumeu River’s wines is all of the grapes are harvested by hand allowing allows the opportunity to remove sub-standard grapes by hand; the result is a net yield of purely high-quality grapes.
The resulting wine shows the density, concentration and length that we expect and even though it is somewhat shy on the nose, with bottle age the full palette of complex aromas and bouquet of this wonderful wine will shine through. A fitting 30th vintage.
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Critic Scores & reviews
Cameron Douglas MS98
"This wine celebrates the 30th vintage of Mate's wine. Purity and freshness, complexity and finesse. Floral and mineral, cashew and sweet spice moments. Complexities from on the palate with textures of acidity against the citrus fruit and sweet pith flavours, white fleshed fruits and a touch of grape fruit peel. Pure and silky, A fabulous wine, exciting and textured, lengthy and persistent. An exciting opportunity.""
Bob Campbell MW95
"Rich, slightly buttery chardonnay with nutty oak and yeast lees flavours together with a saline influence. Intense, appealing wine that is mellow and at the same time has a vibrant undercurrent. It would probably benefit from two to three years bottle age."
Jancis Robinson MW17+
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The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.
Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the South Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.
Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.
The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.
The Auckland region was home to the Dalmatian immigrants who settled in West Auckland in the early part of the 20th Century, bringing with them winemaking traditions. The New Zealand wine industry largely owes its beginnings to those early settlers.
Most of the wineries are around 45 minutes drive from the city of Auckland, so the region is popular for day trippers. Auckland’s climate in general isn't ideally suited to grape cultivation, but small pockets or sub-regions exist where micro-climates can produce some world-class wines. The region typically gets enough sunshine for the harvest, but rain is the constant threat, especially in spring and summer.
The red varieties that work the best in the region are the Bordeaux styled varieties made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and also the non-Bordeaux Syrah. Most notable of the whites grown in the region is Chardonnay, for which Kumeu River is very highly regarded.
The Kumeu region’s winemaking heritage dates back to the 1930s, a time when families of Croatian origin had opened Auckland’s first wineries. Now a coastal wine village, the area is home to an abundance of cellar doors ranging from boutique, family run operations to larger, well known names.
Despite being situated well north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, Kumeu’s climate is kept cool thanks to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20km to the west and the Pacific Ocean 30km to the east. These two large bodies of water generate help to moderate the climate by generating clouds, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30°C. These temperatures contribute to the conditions that enhance the fantastic aromas and flavours from early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
While there are a wide range of varietals produced in this region, wine enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the best known wines produced in the region.
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