You may have seen Paul & Michael have enjoyed getting back out around the world seeing our distribution partners.  It was great to be able to visit key markets, as we once again share our wines in person with the world's greatest writers and critics.

Paul shared the entire UK portfolio with Jancis Robinson, MW.  As well as getting to taste two mature vintages of Dom Coche-Dury, Meursault Les Rougeots,  we were delighted with Jancis' feedback, scores and critical review on Jancis

As well as Jancis, Paul also tasted with two other important UK based MW’s: Rebecca Gibb from VINOUS and Anne Krebiehl of Falstaff.  Both have glowing reviews of the 2021’s.

"Long-standing Purple Pagers should be well aware of the value offered by these pristine Chardonnays that have withstood blind comparisons with some of the best white burgundies." – Jancis Robinson

Maté's Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 

Jancis Robinson - 17++/20

Savoury nose suggests a firm backbone. Really concentrated and richer than the Hunting Hill. Long and very youthful. For the moment, it’s a coiled spring with lots to chew on on the finish. Ideally it should be drunk at 9–10 years old but I suspect most of it is hoovered up long before that. 

Rebecca Gibb - 97 points

The 2021 Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard offers greater tension and sapidity compared with how the more relaxed 2020 did upon release. It will need time in bottle to shake off the rawness of youth. It is focused, concentrated and precise. There's sophisticated use of oak, which integrates seamlessly within the package. I got a cold the day after this was first opened, and almost a week later, when my senses returned, it remained impeccable, focused and compact.

Anne Krebiehl97 points

Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2021

Jancis Robinson - 17.5+/20
Pale straw. Strong lemon aroma with light smokiness and real lift. Lovely balance and great youth and extremely long. Raciness. This is just a treasure that deserves to be cellared awhile to take full advantage of its potential for complex development. It has the same steeliness but more obvious fruit than in typical fine Australian Chardonnays. Tight finish for the moment. JR

Rebecca Gibb - 97 points

The 2021 Chardonnay Hunting Hill is its usually sinewy, taut and lightly floral self. Often in the shadow of Maté's Vineyard, Hunting Hill seems to be becoming more and more serious as the vines age - they're around 20 years old. Expect a muscular, unyielding wine that has lemon and lime bitter notes, nectarine and even a whiff of seaside - all salty and briny.

Anne Krebiehl - 95 points

Coddington Chardonnay 2021

Jancis Robinson - 17/20
Quite a subtle nose with a hint of putty. Really precise structure and yet open and fruity enough to enjoy already. There’s a certain peachiness on the end. Very appetising. JR

Rebecca Gibb - 93 points

Jazz hands at the ready, the Kumeu River Chardonnay Coddington is always ready to welcome you in with its full, svelte figure and no hard edges, and the 2021 is no different. However, this year there's an additional touch of purpose that keeps it fresh and full of intention. Good depth and weight here, perhaps due to the lower crop after frost made for small yields. There's a sense of feel, a sense of wanting to chew on the finish. Savory characters, festive spices and nutty notes, likely derived from its 25% new oak and time on lees in barrel, join the restrained white stone fruit.

Anne Krebiehl - 95 points

Rays Road Chardonnay 2021

Jancis Robinson – 16.5/20
Quite rich and broad on the nose. The crisp acidity comes in on the finish but it seems less sleek than the Kumeu wines.

Rebecca Gibb - 90 points

The 2021 Chardonnay Rays Road is bright, refreshing and almost salty. I'm even tempted to say mineral; it's certainly not a fruity Chardonnay. The finish is lightly savory with fresh white pear and floral notes. There's a sense of pithiness and citrus line followed up with an almost chalky texture.

Anne Krebiehl - 92 points

Estate Chardonnay 2021

Jancis Robinson - 17+/20
Smoky, tense and lively on the nose. Very fine and open. Slight smokiness on the palate also. Great balance. (2006 and 2007 are still looking good in 2022 apparently.) A fair copy of a fine Chassagne! GV

Rebecca Gibb - 90 points

The 2021 Chardonnay Estate is an open, flowing white. It has a rich fragrance speaking of its time in the cellar - oak-derived nutty notes and vanilla meet sweet pastry characters often found when wines are left on their lees. The lightly cooked apple fruit in this young wine sits underneath. Gentle acidity leaves a tender rather than taut finish.

Anne Krebiehl - 92 points

Missed out on the 2021 Vintage?
To secure first access to every vintage and receive a yearly allocation of our most anticipated releases, join the Kumeu River CRU Waitlist.