An array of local sites blended together, this gives a heart and soul feel for the vintage at Kumeu. Plenty of richness and ripeness. Quite peachy and almost heads into mango tropical territory. A fleshy and approachable palate. Drink now.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Still a Kiwi classic, Kumeu River's 2016 Estate Chardonnay features toasted grain aromas, ripe peach and nectarine flavors and a long, citrus-inflected finish. It's medium-bodied, with a plump, silky texture and up to a decade of aging potential. (JC)
Fragrant, juicy and floral up front, with pretty notes of peppery white flowers that mingle with lime, white grapefruit and apple flavors, set on a crisp, linear body. Shows plenty of tension from the vibrant acidity and lingering minerality. Drink now. (MW)
The family who began this winery and still run it today are Croatian. Mick Brajkovich, together with his wife Katé and son Maté, emigrated from Croatia in 1938. Once they had saved up enough money, they bought a parcel of land in the Auckland area and began farming. They grew grapes and made wine for family consumption, as was common back home in Dalmatia. Very quickly the quality of their wines was recognized by the Auckland elite and they found that they had a growing wine business. As the family business grew, so did the family. The current generation’s winemaker, Michael Brajkovich, is the eldest son of Maté and has taken the business very seriously. He was the first winemaker in New Zealand to become a certified Master of Wine, and since the 1980s has focused the direction of the winery on Burgundian varietals. Kumeu River is known for its Chardonnay production. The 2016 Kumeu River “Kumeu Village” Chardonnay is one of the best examples of serious New Zealand Chardonnay on the market. While showcasing plenty of ripe, tropical fruit notes, and a creamy texture from the malolactic fermentation that it undergoes, it still maintains a crisp acidity and stays light on its feet. Michael primarily ages this wine in stainless steel, with 25% used French barriques to add texture and a subtle sweet oak spice. A combination of traditional Burgundian techniques married to vibrant, ripe, yet balanced New Zealand fruit.
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