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Wine Advocate Reviews Issue #216

19 March 15

The Brajkovich family's Kumeu River Chardonnays (a short drive to the north of Auckland) continue to be amongst a handful of the very best, world-class Chardonnays coming out of New Zealand, demonstrating great finesse and terroir expression as well as aging potential.


2012 Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay

95 points Drink: 2014-2024

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.

2012 Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay

94+ points Drink: 2016-2024

All Mendoza clone fruit. the 2012 Mate's Vineyard offers pretty, floral, orange

blossom and buttered toast notes with some green apple accents and a waft of

nutmeg. Very tight in the mouth, this wine is not quite as concentrated as other

vintages, giving a very restrained and taut character at this early stage with a very

long minerally finish. I've probably been conservative with my score as this one

really needs time a bit more time in bottle.

2012 Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay

92 points Drink: 2014-2022

Produced from UCD Clone 15 Chardonnay, the 2012 Coddington is a

little closed at this youthful stage with delicate white peach, spiced apple and

almond notes plus a hint of cedar. It offers a great intensity of apple and stone fruit

flavors in the mouth with ginger and while pepper coming through, framed by a

pleasant textural grip and racy acid, finishing long.

2012 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay

91+ points Drink: 2014-2018

The 2012 Estate Chardonnay offers aromas of honeyed toast and cashews

with a pronounced core of ripe nectarines and grapefruit plus a complimentary citrus

lift. Medium-bodied, the palate provides great concentration with a nice yeasty

character coming through in the long finish.

2012 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay

90 points Drink: 2014-2016

The 2012 Village Chardonnay has notes of apricots, honey, baking bread and a hint of

nutmeg. Laced with citrusy crispness, medium-bodied and with a wonderfully

silken texture, it offers a long minerally

finish. Fantastic value.

2012 Kumeu River Pinot Gris

88 points - Drink: 2014-2016

The 2012 Pinot Gris displays lovely ripe apple and white peach notes with a touch

of fennel seed. Light-bodied, dry and crisp with appealing texture, it finishes long and

spicy.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown (January, 2015)

Copyright 2015, The Wine Advocate, Inc. - Reprinted with permission