Every year we eagerly await Jancis Robinson's reviews for each of our Chardonnays. This year we were particularly excited because we knew the strength of these wines thanks to the incredible 2020 vintage. In the words of Jancis, "Knowing how keen many Purple Pagers are on the exceptional New Zealand Chardonnays of Kumeu River we’re publishing these tasting notes a little early."
You can sign up to Kumeu CRU to secure your allocation. This year will be the first time our Coddington Chardonnay will be entirely sold out pre-release. This will only be available to CRU members.
2020 Kumeu River Maté's Vineyard Chardonnay – 17.5/20
Even for this wine, for which Michael Brajkovich predicts 'long-term bottle maturation', only four to six years are recommended! Note how much less potent it is than Hunting Hill.
Pale gold. Quite an opulent nose. I must say the nose made me think involuntarily of some Corton-Charlemagnes. Really precise and mealy with perfect balance. You could already enjoy it but it will surely become even more complex in bottle. Long and satisfying, a wine designed to soothe sore throats. Quite a triumph; easy to see why it's the most expensive in this range. JR
2020 Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay – 17+/20
Really nervy nose. Truly burgundian, if one is allowed to say this. Great fruit and great tension. Just the job and amazingly vibrant and persistent on the finish. You could drink this already but it will clearly last really well – though winemaker Michael Brajkovich is consistently cautious with his suggested drinking windows; 'will improve with bottle age for four to six years'. A hint of Puligny here. JR
2020 Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay – 16.5+/20
Pale greenish straw colour. Broad, rather floral nose with some light chewiness on the end. Not quite ready yet. Hint of lemon peel on the finish. Not the most intense Kumeu Chardonnay but very 'pleasant' for now! It will surely bloom in bottle. JR
2020 Kumeu River Rays Road Chardonnay – 17/20
Neat and well integrated, quite restrained. And already very accessible though with light, fine tannins and quite opulent fruit on the front palate. Sprightly. Lemon-pastille flavour. Very long. Beautifully made. JR
2020 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay – 17/20
Lightly but not excessively reductive on the nose. Already quite expansive on the nose with beautiful impact on the palate: citrus, blossom and really neat acidity without much astringency. Elegant and racy – almost lightweight on the mid palate and then it is impressively persistent. A thorough delight already. JR
2020 Kumeu Village Chardonnay – 16.5/20
Surprisingly rich nose. Fine, appetising, crisp palate with just a little chewiness still evident at this point. There's a suggestion of sweet grapefruit juice. Really clean, fresh and long. JR
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